Seniors Lead Thunderbirds to Win Over Matadors
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - The SUU women’s basketball team wrapped up their non-conference schedule Wednesday afternoon with a 77-71 win over Cal State Northridge.
“It was great to see Jamie and Jess hit shots and show their leadership. Skylee filled in great having to play big minutes and as active as Darri was on the boards and things, it really made it hard for them to figure out how to slow us down,” head coach Chris Boettcher said. “It made them extend their defense and it opened up a lot of opportunities for our players. It was fun to see them play at the next level today.”
The game got off to a rough start for the Thunderbirds as they found themselves down by 11 points after five minutes of play. When the quarter came to a close the score was 25-20 in favor of the Matadors.
Over the next two quarters, the Thunderbirds put up 43 points while holding the home team to only 26, turning the tables on the Matadors and giving themselves a 63-51 lead by the end of three quarters. Senior Jessica Richardson led the charge in the middle quarters, scoring 14 points and grabbing four rebounds.
The Matadors got their groove back in the fourth quarter scoring 20 points and holding the T-Birds to just 14, but it wouldn’t be enough as the Thunderbirds were able to finish their west coast trip with a 77-71 win.
Richardson finished with her second double-double of the season scoring a career-high 24 points and pulling in 10 rebounds. Fellow senior Jamie Smith had a big night as well as she was 3-6 from the three-point line and finished with 17 points.
Wednesday’s win marks the end of the non-conference schedule for the Lady T-Birds as they will begin Big Sky play on Saturday December 31st at home against Northern Arizona. The win over the Matadors is their fifth win of the season, matching the total number of wins from last season.
The wins mean a lot to Boettcher and his team, but what is most important is how they are winning. “Not only are the wins important, but the way we have been playing in both of these tight games, compared to the stretch when we were having a tough time scoring and executing, gives us a confidence boost as we head into conference at home,” Boettcher explained.To stay up to date during the games and throughout the 2016-17 season follow @SUUWBasketball on Twitter and Instagram and like the SUU Women’s Basketball page on Facebook.