All aboard

Junior transfer Beutler driving team to success


Junior guard Abbie Beutler leads the lady Wolverines as she brings the ball up the court. Kira Terry/UVU Review

Remember the good ol’ days, waking up early to slam down a bowl of cereal before running out the door into the cold morning air just to barely catch that big, wonderful, yellow school bus?

 

Remember the sound of the door flipping open, and the first image you see being the clear lack of excitement on the driver’s face from dealing with the same loud and obnoxious kids every day?

Who would want to ever be the one driving the bus?

Meet Abbie Beutler.

The lady Wolverines’ junior point guard does just that every day ­­– her coach describes Beutler’s style of leadership and play as “driving the bus.”

“We put a huge load on Abbie this season,” said Coach Cathy Nixon. “We knew what a hard process it was going to be for her, but we also saw a ton of potential in her. Watching Abbie has been so awesome to see her blossom and grow, and she’s now the one driving the bus.”

A starting point guard has a huge responsibility in controlling the pace and tempo of the game. Not only does she have to know where to be on the court at all times, but also she must know where all her teammates are and where they will be going. It isn’t an easy task, especially when given only a month to learn it.

“I couldn’t have played like that if it wasn’t for the previous teams that have beat up on us earlier this season.”
– Abbie Beutler

Transferring from Snow College, this is Beutler’s first season at UVU, making the transition to Division I that much harder.

“My experience as a junior college coach helps me to know a little bit about the transition for a player to make the jump to Division I, and it’s hard,” said Nixon. “Not only did Abbie have to learn a new system, style of play and teammates, we told her she had a month to do it.”

Due to NCAA regulations this season, teams were unable to practice together as a team until the second week of October. The lady Wolverines’ first game was Nov. 12, leaving the transfer point guard with very little time to learn how to “drive the bus.”

Beutler will be the first to admit that she’s hit her fair share of bumps in the road and has even missed a turn here and there; but her performance against conference foe University of Texas-Pan American was just about flawless.

Playing in 39 minutes of the 40-minute game, Beutler was a solid 9-13 from the field, hitting 3-5 from behind the 3-point arch and a perfect 6-6 from the line. She would also add 11 assists to her 27 points, both of which are career highs and led to being named GWC Player of the Week.

“I couldn’t have played like that if it wasn’t for the previous teams that have beat up on us earlier this season,” said Beutler. “I’m just lucky to have such a good team that has stuck together through the season and are just as determined as me to get better and win. We have a strong bond and play united every game, which makes us all better.”

Thanks to an extremely difficult schedule, the lady Wolverines have grown together and are playing more to their full potential with Beutler behind the wheel.

“I love basketball,” said Beutler. “I also know that I’m not always the greatest at it, so I work really hard to reach my goals and help the team win. It’s the passion that keeps you driving and working hard.”

Thanks to her hard work and passion, Beutler is averaging 9.1 points per game, leading her team in assists, shooting percentage from the free-throw line at 87 percent and is tied for the most steals on the team this season as of Feb. 25.

With stats like those, taking the bus sure sounds more appealing these days.

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