It’s All Ours: Lady Thunderbirds Top Grand Canyon for Outright WAC Crown

It’s All Ours: Lady Thunderbirds Top Grand Canyon for Outright WAC Crown

By: Keller Sherman

Featured Image Courtesy of Southern Utah Athletics

CEDAR CITY, Utah — Just two days after securing a share of the regular season title, Southern Utah is an outright WAC champ. It came in a way that the Thunderbirds have won so many times this season. SUU used a 32-14 4th quarter to deny Stephen F Austin a share of the WAC crown. The Ladyjacks did their part in an effort to claim a share of the title outlasting UT-Arlington in double overtime. For a while, it looked like SFA might get the help it needed as SUU trailed by 10 points at the end of the 3rd quarter. The Thunderbirds were greedy. They had no interest in sharing the history they made. Unfortunately, SUU will pay for their greed by not having the 1 seed in the WAC tournament due to the resume seeding system. However, the 2 seed is still as good as theirs.

A Starting Twist

The starting lineup featured two unique names on Tuesday night. Bryar Tronnier and Tomekia Whitman replaced Megan Jensen and Samantha Johnston in the starting lineup. Tronnier played only 13 minutes going for 3 points and 6 rebounds. Whitman continued to shine as she scored 16 points; her fifth straight game scoring in double figures. Starting veterans Daylani Ballena and Cherita Daugherty both scored in double figures with 18 and 20 points respectively. Traditional starter Megan Jensen provided the only points off the bench with her 6-point effort.

Just Short, but History Still Made

Lizzy Williamson had 13 rebounds but fell short of a double-double with only 8 points. However, she still did enough to etch her name in school history. She broke the single-season rebounding record in her outing Thursday night to finish the regular season with 296 rebounds and has a great opportunity to eclipse the 300-mark in the postseason. The previous record holder is Challis Pascucci, who had 291 rebounds in the 2009-10 season. It is also important to note that some kind of postseason has been guaranteed for the Thunderbirds now. With their outright possession of the WAC title, they earned an automatic invite to the WNIT. Should SUU not win the WAC tournament to qualify for the NCAAs, this team will still be playing some postseason basketball.

On Deck

It’s time for the WAC tournament. With the 2 seeds locked up, the Thunderbirds will await the winner of a first-round game between the 7 and 10 seeds. In all likelihood, their WAC Vegas debut will come against the winner of 7-seed New Mexico State vs 10-seed UT-Rio Grande Valley. The Thunderbirds swept both teams in regular season action. Regardless of who the opponent actually ends up being, SUU will tip off on Wednesday at 6 PM.

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