Trailblazer women lead from start to finish in basketball win over Abilene Christian

Utah Tech's Amber Kartchner scores two of her 14 points to help the Trailblazers defeat Abilene Christian Wednesday night at Burns Arena, Jan. 11, 2023 | Photo by Stan Plewe, Utah Tech Athletics, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The Utah Tech women’s basketball team notched a wire-to-wire 85-74 victory over Abilene Christian at Burns Arena Wednesday night.

In a file photo, Utah Tech’s Breaunna Gillen drives against Utah Valley in a WAC women’s basketball game, St. George, Utah, Dec. 31, 2022 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

Six Trailblazers (11-5 overall, 3-2 in Western Athletic Conference) scored in double figures, led by Breaunna Gillen who had her fifth double-double of the season with 21 points and 11 assists.

“Really good team effort tonight … and I like what we got from our bench,” said head coach J.D. Gustin, according to the UT Athletics website. “It was a game where we played more man defense than normal, and I thought we did a solid job with it. We also did a much better job on the boards.”

Averi Papa sunk a pair of free throws to put the Trailblazers on the scoreboard first. Papa was the only Trailblazer to score in the first three minutes and put up five points. Utah Tech then went on an 11-5 run to take a five-point lead en route to a 25-19 edge going into the second.

UT never gave up the lead in the second quarter despite a 3-minute scoring drought by both teams. The Wildcats (8-8, 2-3) brought the score within one point, but Emily Isaacson drained a 3-pointer, and by halftime,  UT led 43-38.

Statistics courtesy of Utah Tech Athletics.

Both teams picked up the pace in the third quarter, and the Trailblazers pushed their lead out by 11. Utah Tech started the final stanza with an 8-3 run to push their lead to 72-60 en route to the 85-74 final margin

Papa posted 16 points going 6-of-9 from the field. Isaacson and Amber Kartchner each put up 14 points while Maggie McCord was hot from beyond the arc with all 12 of her points coming from 3-point range. 

Gillen’s 11 assists pushed her over the 300 threshold with 301 total career assists. She has also scored in double-figures in all 16 games this season.  

 The Trailblazers hit the road to take on New Mexico State at 4 p.m., on Saturday, Jan. 14. 

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