Utah Tech women’s basketball stopped by against second-ranked team in WAC

Brooke Vance, a junior exercise science major from Salem, plays defensively against Stephen F. Austin University on Feb 16. Miki Akiyama | Sun News Daily

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Utah Tech women’s basketball team lost 56-72 against Stephen F. Austin State University Feb. 16 in the Burns Arena

The women appeared on the court in their pink jerseys as SFA started off with possession of the ball. The Trailblazers soon received the ball and the switching of possession between and SFA began. 

Emily Isaacson, a redshirt junior recreation and sports management major from Perry, said the team played well together despite “adversity.”

“An adjustment that we made was getting the ball into the middle of the floor which opened up a lot of good shots for us,” Isaacson said. “Overall, Stephen F. Austin is one of, if not the best team in our conference, and so seeing that we can hang with them at the beginning of the game was encouraging for us moving forward.”

SFA’s player Tyler McCliment-Call scored the first two points of the game shortly into the first quarter. 

Averi Papa, a sophomore communication studies major from Washington, scored the first basket for the Trailblazers. 

Maggie McCord, a senior criminal justice major from South Jordan, gave a shout-out to her teammates.

“I give big credits to the bench players who came out being ready to shoot,” McCord said. “I feel like that’s how we were able to stay in the game during that first half because they were able to come in and make important shots off the perimeter.”

Amber Kartcher, redshirt freshman management major from Logan, scored the second basket of the game for Trailblazers. 

SFA made the last basket of the first quarter ending it with a score of 24-18.

After the first quarter, Rihanna songs started playing each opportunity presented. Only Rihanna songs were played even throughout halftime. 

The second quarter started with SFA in possession of the ball while scoring the first points of the quarter. SFA lead going into halftime with a score of 44-33.

The third quarter started with SFA scoring. With seconds left in the quarter, a SFA player threw from halfcourt and missed. The quarter ended with a score of 59-45.

“In the timeouts something encouraging that was said and emphasized by our coach and each other was just continuing to play and enjoy it,” McCord said. “In our last game against them, I feel like we kind of just gave up after getting down, but this game it felt different because we were all still fighting till the end.”

The fourth quarter started with SFA in possession. Kartchner scored the first basket of the quarter. 

McCord said a play occurred in the fourth quarter where she passed to Kartchner then Kartchner passed back to her.

“…our coach called a timeout just to acknowledge that play,” McCord said. “Plays like that where we pass up a good shot to get an [even] better shot is how we need to play and that’s why our coach made sure to acknowledge it.”

McCord said being one step ahead is key to winning games in the Western Athletic Conference. She said while the Trailblazers struggled to do so, but in the future, the team will plan accordingly.

“It was encouraging for us to see that we held [SFA] to a lower field goal percentage than they typically average, which we can take away as a positive,” Isaacson said. “If we can clean some things on both ends of the floor, it would give us a good chance to win games moving forward.” 

The final score was 72-56. The Trailblazers will play in Burns Arena Feb. 18 at 2 p.m. against The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley