WAC tournament: Southern Utah survives upset bid with unbelievable buzzer-beater
'It's knocked away, still loose, Daugherty the heave ... OHHHHH! IT'S GOOD! Southern Utah wins!'
The best buzzer-beater of March this year came in the quarterfinals of the WAC women's basketball tournament, and it helped Southern Utah avoid a very disappointing end to its season.
The 21-9 Thunderbirds entered the conference tournament seeded second, but with the best record in the conference (long story short, they were dropped in the seeding due to computers). They opened the tourney with a quarterfinals matchup against No. 7 seed New Mexico State and quickly found themselves on the ropes.
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At halftime, Southern Utah was down 30-14. It was 5-of-25 from the field with six turnovers and got outrebounded 22-15. It spent the entire third quarter erasing that deficit with a 16-2 run, but still ended up needing a hero in the final seconds of the game, down 61-59 with 3.4 seconds remaining.
Senior guard Cherita Daugherty obliged, but not as planned.
The Thunderbirds' inbounds pass to Daugherty was batted into a crowd of three NMSU defenders, but Daugherty stuck with the ball and managed to get off an off-balance, one-handed heave that improbably went in for the win.
The New Mexico State women lose 62-61 in the WAC quarterfinals to Southern Utah on an impossible 1-handed heave at the buzzer from Cherita Daugherty. pic.twitter.com/sURXwUxYC8
— Colin Deaver (@ColinDeaverTV) March 9, 2023
"It's knocked away, still loose, Daugherty the heave ... OHHHHH! IT'S GOOD! Southern Utah wins!"
Holy Cherita Daugherty!!!!
WOW! @SUUWBasketball wins! pic.twitter.com/z1Wre3qoEG
— WACHoopsDigest (@WACHoopsDigest) March 9, 2023
Daugherty finished the game with 14 points on 4-of-13 shooting with two rebounds, two assists and a block. Southern Utah senior Tomekia Whitman led all scorers with 18 points and six rebounds, while Daylani Ballena had 14 points and six assists.
Southern Utah will face the winner of Grand Canyon and Seattle in the semifinals.