By: Keller Sherman
Featured Image Courtesy of Southern Utah Athletics
ABILENE, Texas — Southern Utah failed to move one step closer to a share of the WAC regular season title Thursday night. The Thunderbirds fell to only one game ahead of Stephen F Austin for the regular season title with the loss. Now, SUU finds itself needing to win two of its last three to ensure just a share of the title. The good news is that the Thunderbirds now have last-place Tarleton on deck and then get their final two games at home. Those final two home games come against the two teams currently tied for 3rd place in the WAC standings; Grand Canyon and California Baptist.
Comeback Falls Short
SUU entered the 4th quarter down 12, but came all the way back and nearly won the game. However, Cherita Daugherty missed the potential game-winning layup with 16 seconds left. Abilene Christian had a chance to win the game for themselves but instead opted to run the clock out and settle for overtime. Daugherty had 18 points on the night with the effort tied for Tomekia Whitman for most individual points on the night. Three other Thunderbirds were in double figures. Samantha Johnston had 17, Lizzy Willamson scored 12 with 8 rebounds, and Daylani Ballena had 10. However, five Thunderbirds in double figures was not enough. It could not overcome a 34-point effort by Abilene’s Maleeah Langstaff.
SUU has a prime opportunity to bounce back on Saturday against Tarleton. The Texans will enter Saturday’s game on an 11-game losing streak. Having already been eliminated from contention for a berth at the WAC Tournament, Tarleton only has 2 games left in their season. This will motivate the Texans more than ever to play their best basketball of the year with nothing else to play for. The Thunderbirds will need to be on their A game.