ST. GEORGE — Both basketball teams from Utah Tech will play in their final games of the Western Athletic Conference regular season on Saturday, and regardless of the outcomes, it will be a memorable day for the Trailblazers.

The women’s team (17-13 overall) crushed the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley 81-55 Thursday night in Burns Arena, improving to 11-8 and fourth-place in the Western Athletic Conference standings.

The Trailblazers sank 18 3-pointers in the convincing win over the Vaqueros, the second-highest single game total from downtown for Utah Tech this season.

Senior Maggie McCord led the home team with a game-high 18 points for Utah Tech, one of four Trailblazers with double-digit scoring in the win.

Utah Tech senior Maggie McCord (in pink jersey) will play her last game at Burns Arena Saturday at 2 p.m., St. George, Utah, March 8, 2024 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

The victory sets the stage for Saturday’s regular season finale at Burns Arena against WAC rival Stephen F. Austin at 2 p.m.

The game is important for the WAC standings, as SFA (20-10) is in third-place– one spot above Utah Tech– with a conference mark of 14-5.

The game will also be Senior Day at Utah Tech. All-time leading scorer Breaunna Gillen will be playing her last game at Burns Arena.

Also playing her last home game is Maggie McCord, who was alongside Gillen at Utah Tech from the very beginning of their collegiate careers.

Fans are encouraged to attend a pregame ceremony to honor Gillen and McCord. Ticket prices are lowered to $5 a seat for the occasion. 

Utah Tech’s men’s team kept its mathematical possibility of making the postseason alive with a clutch 79-74 win at UTRGV on Thursday night.

The win snapped the Trailblazers’ five-game losing streak and was their first win on the road in their last 12 contests.

Utah Tech’s Beon Riley scores two of his career-best 22 points against UTRGV in a WAC men’s basketball game, Edinburg, Texas, March 7, 2024 | Photo by Emily Wight, Utah Tech Athletics Media Relations, St. George News

Beon Riley scored 16 of his career-best 22 points in the second half as the Trailblazers mounted a furious rally against the Vaqueros and kept their playoff hopes alive.

Tanner Christensen just missed a double-double against UTRGV with 19 points and nine rebounds. 

The Trailblazers overcame an 11-point deficit with 11 minutes remaining in the win.

Utah Tech (11-19) improved to 7-12 in the WAC standings. The Trailblazers are within one game of eighth-place Cal Baptist.

A team must finish eighth or better to qualify for the WAC postseason tournament next week in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

So on Saturday, Cal Baptist has to lose against WAC-leader Grand Canyon and Utah Tech has to beat Stephen F. Austin (16-14, 9-10 in WAC) to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Utah Tech tips off against SFA Saturday at 1 p.m. (MT). Voice of the Trailblazers Rod Zundel will have the live broadcast on The Fan Sports Network and the game will be carried on ESPN+.

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