The Southern Utah University women's basketball team claimed the Western Athletic Conference Tournament championship in its inaugural season and punched its ticket into the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament with an 82-73 win over California Baptist Saturday evening in Orleans Arena. Cherita Daughetry earned Western Athletic Conference Tournament Most Outstanding Player honors after a career-defining performance of 26 points and eight rebounds. Southern Utah had a high-octane offensive attack with all five of their starters finishing in double digits in scoring. For the second straight game, Southern Utah had a stellar outing distributing the ball, logging 19 assists on 27 made field goals. The Thunderbirds dominated the battle on the boards, corralling 45 rebounds to CBU's 33. All five of the Thunderbirds starters finished in double digits in scoring. Southern Utah never trailed in this matchup. Daugherty came up big right from the opening tip, leading the team with 26 points on a remarkable 61 percent shooting from the field while amassing eight rebounds, three assists, and one block. Daylani Ballena added 14 points, and five rebounds while dishing out a game-high seven assists. Lizzy Williamson and Tomekia Whitman recorded crucial double-doubles. Williamson posted 12 points, 13 rebounds, and three stifling blocks. Whitman turned in a gritty performance, scoring 12 points and 11 rebounds. Megan Jensen shot a perfect 5-5 from the field, finishing with 12 points and five rebounds. Southern Utah will now await the NCAA Tournament Selection Show tomorrow at 6 p.m. MT to determine their next opponent in the Round of 64 in the NCAA Tournament.

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