Thunderstruck: Trailblazers triumph over Thunderbirds

The women’s basketball team took a victorious win, 78-71, against rivals Southern Utah University Jan. 18. The trailblazers are going head to head against the Utah Valley Wolverines Jan. 20, so come join the Stampede for a night of enthusiasm against our northern rivals. Cora Mark | Sun News Daily

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The Utah Tech University women’s basketball team beat rivals Southern Utah University 78-71 Jan. 18. This marks the team’s first-ever victory against the Thunderbirds.

Breaunna Gillen, a senior exercise science major from West Jordan, said beating SUU felt so good, and that it took too long to get the coveted rivalry win.

The Trailblazers got out to an early lead during the game and did not look back. They did not trail once during the entire game.

Utah Tech started the game hot scoring 28 points in the first quarter. They slowed down in the second quarter only scoring 11 points. Despite this, Utah Tech went into the half leading 39-32.

Utah Tech’s leading scorer for the game was Macie Warren, a redshirt sophomore history major from Lehi, who took over in the third quarter. She had 23 points throughout the game, nine of which came in the third quarter as she drained three 3-pointers. That helped Utah Tech lead by 15 points going into the fourth quarter with a score of 62-47.

In the fourth quarter, Utah Tech was outscored by eight points, but Southern Utah’s attempt to return was not enough.

The Stampede, Utah Tech’s student section, showed out for their rivalry game by being loud and spirited throughout the entirety of the game.

“Having the students here is such a gamer changer,” Warren said. “They were yelling ‘airball’ at No. 22 on SUU and getting in her head, but they were also boosting our confidence. They don’t realize how much they add to the atmosphere.”

Associate head coach Matt Thune said the team is going to enjoy the big win for 24 hours, but that looking ahead, they have a slew of tough games coming. They will be playing Utah Valley University, Abilene Christian and Tarleton State University.

The team is looking to ride the momentum of beating their rival into the second half of the season. 

They are currently sitting at a 9-8 record and an in-conference record of 3-3. They are fighting to win enough games in the second half of the season to secure a spot in the Western Athletic Conference tournament. The top eight teams will make it to the WAC tournament at the end of the season. Utah Tech is currently sitting in the sixth spot. 

“The WAC is a tough conference, and every team knows each other so well. Wins are hard to come by,” Thune said. “Every game is a challenge.”

The next game for Utah Tech is Jan. 20 in the Burns Arena against UVU. Students are encouraged to show out wearing red for the red-out theme.