Lady T-Birds Snap Losing Streak With Win Over Vikings
CEDAR CITY, Utah - Two days out from their final game in the Centrum Arena, Jessica Richardson and Jamie Smith led the Lady T-Birds to their first Big Sky conference win of the season Thursday night. Richardson poured in a career-high 25 points and Smith shot six for 11 from three-point range to give the Thunderbirds a 82-64 win over the Portland State Vikings.
“It’s so great,” Richardson said after the win. “A lot of games have felt like we should have won or could have won so finally being able to pull out a game where we put together 40 minutes of great basketball is just a great feeling.”
Despite nine lead changes, all in the first quarter, the Thunderbirds led for a vast majority of the game. They started to really pull away from the Vikings in the second quarter when they went on a 17-1 scoring run. Richardson had nine points during that run and was three for six from the floor. The T-Birds held a 39-31 lead at the half.
When the teams came back out from the break, the Vikings opened up the scoring with two quick baskets to cut the Thunderbird lead to just four. Not wanting his team to dwell on the past too much, Boettcher called a quick timeout giving the T-Birds a chance to regroup.
“I was not going to let them have two or three buckets in a row and us lose our energy. Our turnovers and their buckets came with us being a little bit passive. My coaches and I saw that and decided to use the timeout,” head coach Chris Boettcher said. “We just reminded them of all that we had worked on and that there was no reason to be tentative. Let’s go out and win or lose the game with 100 percent of the energy we play with all the time.”
The Thunderbirds responded to by putting up 26 points in the third quarter while holding the Vikings to just 17. They followed that up with 17 more points in the fourth on their way to a 82-64 victory.
In addition to her 25 points, Richardson had seven rebounds and was four for five from the freethrow line. Smith scored all of her points from three-point range putting up 18 points on the night, her highest total since she dropped 20 on Idaho in January. Darri Frandsen also had a big night, putting together her ninth double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 rebounds in the win. She also had a whopping six blocks and five steals.
The Thunderbirds will look to keep the momentum rolling Saturday afternoon when they host the Sacramento State Hornets. Saturday’s game will be the last game in the Centrum Arena for the Thunderbirds this season. Tip off is set for 2:00 p.m.
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