Hot start for Wolverines turns cold in 57-71 loss to BYU

UVU sophomore guard Maria Carvalho drives past the defense to attack the basket. Photo by Cameron Hunsinger.

Across the valley, Utah Valley fans could be heard cheering for their women’s basketball team as they faced off against their county foe, Brigham Young University. Big shots and stout defense kept UVU in the game, but they would eventually lose 71-57. 

Neither team has had the best of luck as of late, as both teams came into the game off multiple losses. The Cougars had lost three straight, while the Wolverines lost two. Overall, BYU has dominated the series with a now 10-0 record over UVU.

Everything was neck-and-neck the first 20 minutes of play with the first quarter ending in a tie and the half ending with the Wolverines only down one. Shots were falling for both teams, and the UVU defense held their own limiting outside shots for BYU.

Sophomore center Josie Williams put up an early and surprising 3-pointer which rallied the team to knock down three more in the quarter. UVU would lead by as many as five with the help of 33.3% shooting from the field and 40% from deep.

“Early on we were able to execute our game plan and I thought we did a good job in the first half, but we got away from that in the second half for a stretch,” said UVU head coach Dan Nielson. “I’m proud of the way we continued to fight. I think it bodes well for the future. Our goal has been to get to WAC play and be ready, and I think we’re on the right track.”

The Cougars looked to run away with the game in the second quarter as they led by as many as 10 points with impressive shooting. But even with BYU shooting 72.7% from the field and an even more impressive 80% from behind the arc, the Wolverines stayed in it — holding the score to 20-19 going into the half.

That one point lead for BYU only grew from there as they bumped it up to 13 at one point in the third quarter. The Wolverines were held to 10 points in the quarter while the Cougars finished with 20. 

Four Cougar players reached double-digits in points with junior guard Brenna Drollinger leading the way with 19 points. The only Wolverine to reach the double-digit mark was sophomore guard Maria Carvalho with 10 points. Sophomore forward Eve Braslis was right on her tail with nine points.

The nail in the coffin for the Wolverines was a 34-point quarter for BYU as they shot 50% from the field and 60% from the 3-point line and would put the game away, winning 71-57.

The Wolverines will continue with their second of three straight in-state teams as they travel to Weber State on Tuesday, Dec. 17, and will return home Saturday, Dec. 21, to host Utah State.

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