Southern Utah a No. 14 seed in first ever NCAA tournament appearance, will play No. 3 Notre Dame

Southern Utah’s Samantha Johnston, from right, Cherita Daugherty and Tomekia Whitman (2) react to a call during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against California Baptist in the championship of the Western Athletic Conference tournament, Saturday, March 11, 2023, in Las Vegas. Southern Utah won 82-73.

Ronda Churchill, AP

After defeating California Baptist Saturday in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) tournament championship game, Southern Utah’s women’s basketball team was guaranteed a berth in the NCAA tournament, the first in program history.

The only thing that remained was to find out what seed the Thunderbirds would receive and who they would be playing.

Those questions have now been answered.

SUU was awarded the No. 14 seed in the Greenville Regional (1) on Sunday, and will play No. 3 seed Notre Dame (25-5).

The NCAA tournament berth marks only the second ever postseason run in SUU women’s basketball history.

The only other postseason trip for the program came in 1988 in the NAIA women’s basketball championships. Those Thunderbirds lost in the first round to No. 3 seed Arkansas Tech.

SUU was the best team in the WAC this season, finishing 23-9 overall, 16-2 in conference play, and it showed in the conference tournament.

Cherita Daugherty was named the WAC tournament’s most outstanding player after scoring 26 points and grabbing eight rebounds in the championship game.

She was joined on the All-Tournament team by teammates Megan Jensen (Emery High) and Tomekia Whitman.

Those three — plus Daylani Ballena — led the Thunderbirds this season, averaging double figures in point scored, with Daugherty at the front with an average of 15.3 points per game.

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Source:: Deseret News – Sports News


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