CEDAR CITY, Utah - The Thunderbird women’s basketball team lost a heartbreaker on Saturday night inside the Centrum Arena, as they fell to the Idaho State Bengals in double overtime 71-68.
Neither team started particularly fast, as the score was 12-9 at the end of the first quarter. When the game went to the break Southern Utah led 24-23.
Things got interesting with just about three minutes to play in regulation, as the Thunderbirds held a 12 point advantage at 52-40. The Bengals used a 6-0 run and a 7-0 run following a Thunderbird score to tie the contest at 53-53 with just 18 seconds to go. Neither team was able to close out the game, and the contest moved into overtime.
The teams drew to a 7-7 score in the first overtime period, and in the second five-minute period the Bengals were able to pull away to win the game outscoring the T-Birds 11-8 in the final five minutes.
Jessica Richardson led the way for SUU with 14 points and nine rebounds. Whitney Johnson added in 13 points and seven boards of her own. Darri Frandsen was the third T-Birds with double-digit scoring numbers with 10 points and seven boards.
For ISU Lindsay Brown led all scorers with 15 points. She was one of five Bengals to score 10 points or more. ISU also held a 13-6 advantage when it came to shots from behind the three-point line.
SUU head coach Chris Boettcher said he looks at his team’s ability to close games late will be the key for them picking up wins moving forward.
“This team’s challenge, and what this team has to learn to do is close a game,” he said. “With a close game, or even a big lead, we haven’t been able to do that since the preseason.”
With the loss SUU moves to 5-17 on the season and 0-11 in Big Sky Conference play. The Bengals improved to 12-9 overall and 6-4 in BSC play.
Next up for the Thunderbirds will be a trip to Montana to take on the Grizzlies of the University of Montana and the Bobcats of Montana State University.
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.