From SUU ATHLETICS STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION
TUCSON, Ariz. – The Southern Utah University women’s basketball team played their final non-conference game of the season Wednesday night against the Arizona Wildcats. The Lady T-Birds took the Wildcats to double overtime, but ultimately fell 76-74.
The Thunderbirds came out hot in the first quarter, sinking four three-point shots, including a deep buzzer beater by Natalie Sanchez. On the defensive side of the ball, they were able to hold the Wildcats to just six points and took a 15-6 lead into the second quarter.
Unfortunately for Southern Utah, the Wildcats caught fire in the second quarter going on a 14-0 run that consumed a little over four minutes and put them up 20-17 over the Thunderbirds. Kiana Johnson was able to stop the bleeding with a three-point basket and dropped in a layup in the final seconds to give SUU a 26-25 halftime lead.
The teams traded buckets at the opening of the third quarter until the Thunderbirds rattled off four buckets in a row to go up 36-34. The Wildcats closed out the quarter with six straight buckets to take a 48-45 lead into the final 10 minutes of play.
Arizona continued to pull away in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Lady T-Birds 6-2 in the opening minutes. The Thunderbirds then forced five Wildcat turnovers and were able to cut the Arizona lead down to just one with less than three minutes left to play. Down by two with just five seconds left on the clock Kiana Johnson was able to draw a foul and sink both free throws to tie the game at 57-57 and send it to overtime.
The first overtime period was a back and forth battle, with both teams trading free throws and leads. The game was tied five times during the period including when the Wildcats were able to tie it at 67-67 with under a minute to play and send the game to a second overtime period.
The second overtime period played out nearly the same way, but senior Kat Wright sunk a three-point shot with eight seconds left to give the Wildcats the 76-74 victory.
Bre Reid finished with a career-high 22 points on the night, leading all scorers. Reid also pulled down six rebounds and had three steals. Three other Thunderbirds finished in double-digits including Ashley Larsen who had 13 points and eight rebounds.
The Lady T-Birds will be back in action as they kick off Big Sky Conference play in Bozeman against Montana State on Thursday, December 28.