Cherita Daughtery returns for her final run in Cedar City. Courtesy Southern Utah Athletics.

Scoring, Size Highlight SUU Key Returner, Newcomer

Coming off of a decent season in the Big Sky Conference, Southern Utah Women’s Basketball wants to continue their success in their first year in the WAC. And with size and scoring, SUU can do just that. 

After going 14-6 in the conference, the Thunderbirds made it to the quarterfinals of the Big Sky tournament where they fell to the Vandals of Idaho. 14 wins marks the second-most conference wins in program history. And it is the second time under Tracy Sanders that SUU has reached the 18-win mark in a season. 

Despite losing their top scorer Darri Dotson this offseason, SUU managed to retain much of its core, including Cherita Daugherty for her graduate season.

The Thunderbirds also did well in recruiting. SUU managed to snag center Megan Jensen from their new conference rival Utah Valley. Jensen gives SUU even more size in the paint as the Thunderbirds already have two 6-5 centers on their roster. 

Keeping their core and adding great players will help Southern Utah be competitive in their first season in the WAC. 

Newcomer to Watch:

Megan Jensen 6-3 Senior Center (Transfer from Utah Valley)

Megan Jensen was a solid player for the Wolverines last season. She played in all 31 games and started in eight of those contests.

Playing behind some solid post-play in Shay Fano and Josie Williams, Jensen still managed to average 6.3 points and 4.4 rebounds in 17.3 minutes played.

Now that she is arguably the main center on her new team, her stats are expected to increase exponentially. And with the backcourt support of players like Cherita Daugherty, Jensen will have all of the tools to be a premier big in this conference. 

Jensen brings even more height to a team entering a conference where post-play is becoming more prominent. Standing at 6-3, she will help the Thunderbirds grab rebounds and score over the other bigs in the conference. Jensen will combine with 6-5 centers Lizzy Williamson and Ashley Banks to create a formidable size advantage for the T-Birds. 

This kind of height advantage is key to thriving against their new WAC rivals. 

Utah Valley transfer Megan Jensen gives SUU even more size than it already had. Courtesy Western Athletic Conference.

Check out the Southern Utah Thunderbirds gear on Fanatics! 

Returner to Watch:

Cherita Daugherty 5-10 Gr G Vancouver, WA

When we talked to head coach Tracy Sanders recently, she mentioned how thankful she is for Cherita’s return during her Graduate season.

“We haven’t even seen the best Cherita yet. What she’s capable of doing on the floor is pretty incredible.”

And when looking at her stats, this statement is undeniable. Last season, Daugherty finished second on the team in scoring with 10.6 points per game. She also averaged 3.3 assists per game. And considering she was behind the most minutes played on the Thunderbirds by just one minute, Daughtery is a consistent talent that can help carry Southern Utah to a successful inaugural season in the WAC. Daughter scored in double figures in 15 contests in 2021-22.

And in a win over rival Dixie State on Dec. 21, Daughtery went for a season-high 28 points and pulled down nine rebounds in a 95-58 rout of the Trailblazers.

As an underclassman at Lower Columbia College, Daugherty was playing solid minutes before her days as a Thunderbird. In her sophomore year, she started all 30 games played and averaged 26.1 minutes. She also averaged a solid 9.9 points per contest. Clearly, she’s had a great collegiate career. SUU is lucky to have her and her talent on their squad.

About the author

Chelsea Mendelson

On-Air Talent and Producer with GCUTV. Former basketball player and current basketball fan. Proud to be a woman in sports.

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