Southern Utah women’s basketball entered the WAC Tournament with the best regular-season record and a very good chance to secure the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

In their tournament opener, though, the Thunderbirds needed to pull off a bit of March Madness to save their season.

With Southern Utah trailing by two points with three seconds remaining, graduate guard Cherita Daugherty tracked down an errant inbounds pass from her teammate. Then she threw up a one-armed shot from behind the 3-point line and watched the ball swish through the net as the buzzer sounded.

In the aftermath of the victory, which sends the Thunderbirds to Friday’s WAC semifinals, Daugherty and her coach still couldn’t quite comprehend the game-winning 3-pointer.

“I wish I could say it was a shot,” Daugherty said. “I just threw it up and hoped. I wish I could say it was a shot, but I don’t know.”

Southern Utah coach Tracy Sanders found herself similarly baffled.

“It was a great shot, I guess,” Sanders said. “Just glad it worked out in our favor.”

The Thunderbirds advance to face Grand Canyon in a semifinal matchup at 5 p.m. ET Friday at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. Stephen F. Austin and California Baptist will face off in the other semifinal. The winners will move on to the championship game at 6:30 p.m. ET Saturday, with an NCAA Tournament berth on the line.