Can Cherita Daugherty lead SUU to its first-ever NCAA Tournament on Saturday? Courtesy Western Athletic Conference.

Who Leaves WAC Vegas With a Title? CBU, SUU to Do Battle Saturday

Well, WAC Vegas has truly proven to be even better than expected. Multiple games for both the men’s and the women’s sides ended in spectacular fashion. There have been plenty of upsets. And now only two teams remain on each side. 

For the women, both teams who have come all the way to the WAC Championship game have faced hardships, doubters, and more. And despite it all, they’re at the top of the mountain. But only one can prevail at WAC Vegas. 

Who leaves WAC Vegas with a title and NCAA Tournament Berth?

The Two Seed Proves Their Worth

Going into the season, SUU was certainly not expected to be the team they’ve proven to be. After a fantastic regular season, they found themselves as regular season champs. They’re now looking to cap off their first season in the WAC with a Tournament Title as well. 

SUU nearly lost in their first game of the tournament to NMSU. However a miracle of a shot by Cherita Daugherty kept the T-Birds alive.

SUU used that momentum to blow out GCU in the WAC Vegas semifinals. Now Tracy Sanders’ group faces California Baptist for a chance to go to the NCAA Tournament. Will the T-Birds follow up SFA and be the second team in a row to win the WAC in just their first season in the conference?

Lizzy Williamson and Megan Jensen could be in store for a big day. California Baptist does not have the size that SUU does. GCU bigs Grace Schmidt and Kinsley Barrington will have their hands full.

Keep an eye on Tomekia Whitman. If Whitman plays well, Southern Utah plays even better. Winning at WAC Vegas will cap a remarkable turnaround led by Tracy Sanders at Southern Utah.

Chloe Webb and the CBU Lancers find themselves one win away from going to their first-ever NCAA Tournament. Courtesy Western Athletic Conference.

Upset City

CBU had some hard losses in the transfer portal and due to graduation. They also started the season with their star, Trinity San Antonio, missing a big chunk of time due to an injury. And yet, at WAC Vegas the 4-seed Lancers find themselves in the championship game for the second time in three years. 

Only three players on the current CBU roster played in the 2021 title game. Brittany Klaman, Dorcas Wu and Tiena Neale.

Most did not have them advancing past the LadyJacks of SFA to make it to this game. And yet they beat the 1-seed 69-64 in what was a hard-fought battle until the very end. CBU is absolutely the underdogs in this game, but they clearly excel at being doubted. 

Keep an eye on the CBU speed. The Lancers love to shoot 3-pointers, and get up and down the floor. It is a way to negate the size of Southern Utah. Jarrod Olson is one of the best coaches in the WAC.

Dorcas Wu could be a game changer in Saturday’s WAC Vegas final. CBU is also eligible for the NCAA Tournament so there is a little more motivation there for the Lancers.

Defense is the Best Offense 

Both of these teams are highly capable of exploding offensively. Each of their defenses need to be ready for anything. In the post, behind the arc, everything is possible. 

This also means no lead is safe. Basketball is a game of runs after all, and these are two teams that can get hot quickly and stay there if their opponents are caught off guard. 

Predictions

It’s going to be a fun one no matter who is hoisting the trophy at the end of Saturday’s WAC Vegas title game. But again, there can only be one.

Something worth noting…both CBU and SUU are playing to earn their first-ever trips in program history to the NCAA Tournament. CBU transitioned from Division II to Division I three years ago.

And Derryl and I do not agree on who that is going to be. 

Chelsea- Southern Utah

Derryl- CBU

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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