After a decent season in the Big Sky Conference, Southern Utah Women’s Basketball is looking to continue their success in their freshman year in WAC. And with size and scoring, SUU can do just that.
After a 14-6 conference record, the Thunderbirds advanced to the quarterfinals of the Big Sky Tournament where they fell to the Vandals of Idaho. 14 wins marks the second most conference wins in program history. And it’s the second time under Tracy Sanders that SUU has reached the 18-win mark in a season.
Despite losing top scorer Darri Dotson this offseason, SUU has managed to retain much of its core, including Cherita Daugherty for its graduation season.
The Thunderbirds have also done well in recruiting. SUU managed to snatch center Megan Jensen from new conference rival Utah Valley. Jensen gives SUU even more size in the paint as the Thunderbirds already have two 6-5 centers on their roster.
Keeping their core and adding great players will help Southern Utah be competitive in its first season in the WAC.
Newcomer to watch:
Megan Jensen 6-3 Senior Center (Utah Valley Trade)
Megan Jensen was a solid player for Wolverines last season. She has played in all 31 games and started in eight of those contests.
Playing behind strong post-games in Shay Fano and Josie Williams, Jensen still managed to average 6.3 points and 4.4 rebounds in 17.3 minutes played.
Now that she’s arguably the main center of her new team, her stats should increase exponentially. And with backcourt support from players like Cherita Daugherty, Jensen will have all the tools to be a first big in this conference.
Jensen brings even more height to a team entering a conference where post-game is becoming increasingly important. Standing at 6-3, she will help the Thunderbirds grab rebounds and score off the other conference greats. Jensen will combine with 6-5 centers Lizzy Williamson and Ashley Banks to create a formidable size advantage for the T-Birds.
That kind of height advantage is key to thriving against their new WAC rivals.
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Back to watch:
Cherita Daugherty 5-10 Gr G Vancouver, WA
When we spoke to head coach Tracy Sanders recently, she mentioned how grateful she was for Cherita’s return during her graduate season.
“We haven’t even seen the best Cherita yet. What she is able to do on the floor is pretty amazing.
And when you look at his stats, that statement is undeniable. Last season, Daugherty finished second on the team with 10.6 points per game. She also averaged 3.3 assists per game. And given that she was behind the most minutes played on the Thunderbirds by just one minute, Daughtery is a consistent talent who can help lead Southern Utah to a successful inaugural season in the WAC. His daughter has scored in double figures in 15 games in 2021-22.
And in a win over rival Dixie State on Dec. 21, Daughtery went for a season-high 28 points and grabbed nine rebounds in a 95-58 rout of the Trailblazers.
As an underclass at Lower Columbia College, Daugherty was playing solid minutes before his days as a Thunderbird. In her sophomore year, she started all 30 games played and averaged 26.1 minutes. She also averaged a solid 9.9 points per contest. Clearly, she had a great academic career. SUU is lucky to have her and her talent on their team.