UVU drops game to future WAC opponent

0 comments, Monday, January 28th, 2013, by Matt Baiamonte, in Sports
The Wolverines had a chance to beat future WAC opponent Cal State Bakersfield with 7.8 seconds remaining, but Sammie Jensen’s buzzer-beating shot attempt didn’t fall, sending UVU home with a loss.

“It’s kind of chaos, the last eight seconds of a game,” said Sammie Jensen, who finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds. “I don’t remember much. I just know that they we’re dribbling it down the floor, and Alle got double teamed. I ran up to get the ball because I didn’t think we would get a shot off in time. So as long as we got the shot off, a look is all we’re looking for.”

This has become a familiar situation for the Wolverines this season. They have had three games this year come down to the final possession. They are 1-2 in those games, with the lone victory against University of Texas Pan-American. In that game Alle Finch Cardwell hit a shot at the buzzer, which sent the game into overtime and Wolverine victory.

Screen Shot 2013-01-27 at 1.50.39 PMPlayers and coaches often reflect on one possession that could have changed the game. This time, Head Coach Cathy Nixon told a different story.

“It was a tough loss,” Nixon said. “The thing I told the players was I felt like we really worked hard enough to create the opportunities we needed to be successful. They fought back hard, we got down early and we fought back and took the lead. We didn’t capitalize on opportunities, we missed some free throws and lay ups. It was one of the games that was in the balance and they [Cal State Bakersfield] took advantage of their opportunities better than we did.”

Whether good or bad, two trends have developed this season: starting slow, which leads to first-half deficits and strong second halves that give the Wolverines a chance to win.

“The first half was kind of rough,” Jensen said. “We didn’t come out to play as physical as we thought they would be.”

Jensen knows there is more than one way to avoid first-half deficits.

“We just have to come out ready to go,” Jensen said. “We can’t fall behind like that. You’re on the road and you’re not going to get the calls that you are used to here, which is probably what happens most of the time.”

The Wolverines haven’t won as many games as they would like, yet they find themselves in a very positive situation. They are undefeated in conference play, which puts them in the driver’s seat to win the conference championship. If they do that they will be eligible to play in a post-season tournament.

“Regardless of how things play out, I always feel like we have a chance with these kids,” Nixon said. “They never say die, and with that mentality, I feel like we are going to be in every game we play.”

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