Southern Utah women’s basketball team cruises past Dixie State

CEDAR CITY — The Southern Utah University women’s basketball team rolled to a convincing 80-44 victory over Dixie State University on Monday night.

Dixie State University at Southern Utah University, Cedar City, Utah, Dec. 21, 2020 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Center Darri Frandsen scored 10 of her 15 points in the first quarter, including SUU’s first seven points of the game, as the T-Birds built an early double-digit lead.

Joining Frandsen in double figures was guard Madelyn Eaton, who also finished with 15 points. Margarita Satini added nine points for SUU, while guard Cherita Daugherty added eight points and eight rebounds before leaving the game with a leg injury midway through the third quarter.

At the end of the first quarter, the T-Birds held a 27-12 advantage, which they extended to 42-24 at halftime and 66-33 at the end of the third quarter.

The Thunderbirds shot 44% from the field for the game, making 30-of-68 shots, including 8-of-18 from behind the arc. They also converted 12-of-18 free throws.

Dixie, meanwhile shot just 26.4% from the field for the game, making 14-of-53 field goals, 3-of-16 from 3-point range. The Trailblazers were also 13-of-21 from the free throw line, or 62%.

“I thought we had some great defensive pressure in the first half, especially that first quarter,” SUU head coach Tracy Sanders said. “I thought we did a great job of kind of setting the tempo and pushing the ball in transition.”

Frandsen’s first basket was a putback following a rebounded miss. Soon after, she swished a 3-pointer and made another inside shot as SUU pulled ahead 10-3 in the opening minutes.

“She’s one of our better 3-point shooters,” Sanders said of Frandsen. “I feel like she’s more aggressive, and she’s finishing better this year.”

Dixie State University at Southern Utah University, Cedar City, Utah, Dec. 21, 2020 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Frandsen said she felt like her teammates put her in a “a super good position.”

“We just came out and wanted to start out strong.”

Eaton added that the team shared the ball well.

“I think we really focused on taking great shots on offense end and also really pushing in transition,” she said, “because we knew we could beat them and be faster than them.”

The T-Birds outscored Dixie 34-18 in the paint, 12-2 in second chance points, 10-0 in fast break points and 14-4 in points off turnovers.

SUU also outrebounded Dixie by a 51 to 32 margin, with 36 of the T-Birds’ boards coming on the defensive end.

SUU’s younger reserves also saw plenty of action, particularly toward the end of the game. The T-Bird bench finished with a collective total of 27 points on the night.

“I do feel comfortable with putting them out there,” Sanders said of the reserve players. “I feel like we have a really deep team right now. But we also have some people that are playing so well that it’s hard to not keep them in the game. But I’m excited about where they’re at, and I think you’re going to see more of them as the year goes on.”

Leading the way for Dixie was starting guard Breaunna Gillen, who finished with nine points. Hannah Robbins added seven points, while Emily Isaacson added five points and grabbed a team-high six rebounds.

Dixie State, which fell to 1-2 in preseason play with the loss, is next scheduled to play at home Jan. 4 against Simpson, before starting WAC conference play at New Mexico State in back-to-back games Jan. 8 and 9.

SUU, meanwhile, improved to 3-2 with the win and will open Big Sky Conference play as the T-Birds host Montana State on both Dec. 31 and Jan. 2.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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