Cherita Daugherty and Southern Utah remained unbeaten in WAC play on Thursday night. Courtesy SUU Athletics.

WBB: SUU Stays Unbeaten, Frontrunners Gain Separation

It was a full slate of six games to start off the week in Western Athletic Conference women’s basketball. SUU won…again to remain unbeaten in WAC play. SUU went into St. George and used a big fourth quarter to knock off rival Utah Tech. At 6-0 in WAC play, SUU stand all alone at the top.

And the frontrunners in the league continued to roll.

We had a coach reach a career milestone and a regular season favorite got pushed to overtime again among other news from last night. Let’s get into it.

Grand Canyon 69, New Mexico State 62 (OT)

A year ago, when the Lopes and Aggies met in Phoenix, Amara Graham’s buzzer beater denied the crowd an overtime game.

Thursday night a late 12-3 Aggie run covering 3:59 and finished by four straight points from Tayelin Grays gave us the extra period fans were denied a season ago.

Unfortunately for New Mexico State, that OT session went GCU’s way in the final meeting at GCU Arena between the sides. Naudia Evans led GCU (14-4, 6-1) with 17 points and six rebounds while Olivia Lane added 16 points and 19 rebounds in addition to three assists. Tiarra Brown chipped in 15 points off the bench in her return to play from a concussion sustained last week at UT Arlington.

For New Mexico State (9-10, 4-3), it was Molly Kaiser leading the way with 16 points, four rebounds and a pair of assists. Grays added 11 points, seven rebounds and a pair of assists in defeat. Also reaching double figure scoring for the Aggies were Shania Harper with 10 points, eight rebounds and three steals and Sylena Peterson (10 points, three rebounds and 2 assists).

Southern Utah 62, Utah Tech 51:

After jumping out to a 24-4 lead in their last meeting at home, SUU (10-7, 6-0) found the going significantly tougher at Burns Arena in St. George.

In fact, the Trailblazers led 49-45 after three quarters. But the T-Birds came to life in the final quarter, outscoring Utah Tech 17-2 en route to a comfortable win. Lizzie Williamson had 18 points and 20 rebounds to lead SUU while Megan Jensen added 17 points and eight rebounds.

For Utah Tech (12-6,4-3), it was Breaunna Gillen leading the way with 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists in defeat.

California Baptist 72, Seattle 58

With the win in Riverside, CBU keeps themselves in the race for a top-4 seed at WAC Vegas in March. Grace Schmidt led the Lancers (8-9, 4-2) with 23 points and five rebounds. On her road back from a hamstring injury, Trinity San Antonio played 25 minutes and chipped in 19 points with five rebounds, five assists and a pair of steals.

Meanwhile, in one of her better performances of the campaign, Filipa Barros added 10 points, six rebounds and a quartet of assists.

In defeat, Irena Korolenko had 12 points with 5 rebounds to lead the Redhawks (1-15, 1-5) while Taliyah Clark added 11 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

Sam Houston 81, Tarleton  66

In Stephenville, it was a historic day for Bearkats coach Ravon Justice who recorded her 100th career win at Sam Houston State. Holding a 32-26 lead at the half, the Bearkats (7-9, 3-3) outscored Tarleton 26-14 to gain some separation and roll to the 15-point road win. Madelyn Batista had 25 points with six rebounds to lead the Bearkats while Chyna Allen added 14 points, six assists and four rebounds. Also in double digit scoring for Sam Houston was Mikayla Woods with 10 points and nine rebounds.

For the Texans (7-11, 1-6), Mayra Caicedo led the way with 12 points, three assists, two rebounds and two steals. Joining her in double figure scoring were Elise Turrubiates (11 points and five rebounds) and Tyler Jackson (10 points).

Stephen F. Austin 72, Utah Valley 46

At home, the Ladyjacks (15-3, 5-1) rolled to their 15th win of the season by forcing Utah Valley (4-14, 1-6) into 23 turnovers and using a 21-8 second quarter to grab a comfortable halftime lead. Aiyana Johnson had 22 points, four rebounds and two assists to lead the way for Stephen F. Austin. Behind a quartet of 3-pointers, Tyler McCliment-Call added 14 points and six rebounds while Avery Brttingham added 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

The Wolverines got 15 points, three assists and two rebounds from Kaylee Byon in defeat.

UT Arlington 71, UTRGV 65

After getting blown out at home, UT Arlington (9-10, 4-4) split their season series with the Vaqueros with a road win. Starr Jacobs had 22 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals to lead the Lady Mavs. Also in double figure scoring were De’Sha Benjamin with 17 points, three assists and two steals and Shyia Smith with 10 points and five rebounds.

In defeat UTRGV (7-10, 3-4) got 24 points and three assists from Iyana Dorsey. Deborah Ogayemi added 11 points and 14 rebounds while Zariah Sango chipped in another 11 points and six rebounds. Also in double figure scoring for the Vaqueros was Mele Kailahi with 10 points, five rebounds and four assists.

Saturday’s Schedule: 

All times Central…

UTRGV at Abilene Christian  1pm

UT Arlington at Stephen F. Austin 2pm

Utah Valley at Sam Houston 2pm

Grand Canyon at California Baptist 3pm

New Mexico State at Seattle U 9pm

Idle: Southern Utah

About the author

Derryl Trujillo

Derryl Trujillo is a Southern California based sportswriter who won the 2019 Inland Empire Baseball Coaches Association's Supporter of the Year award. He joined the WAC Hoops Digest staff in 2020 and also covers local sports for Inland Sports and the Valley News. Before transitioning to media Derryl was a high school, collegiate and club volleyball official along with serving as a high school basketball scorekeeper for ten years.

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