Wolverines nearly reach triple-digits in win before WAC play

UVU sophomore center Josie Williams gets to the basket on her way to 20 points. (Photo courtesy of UVU Athletics)

Coming off a win over Utah State, the Utah Valley women’s basketball team looked to add another win before WAC play. The Wolverines hosted Ottawa University-Arizona, dominating in almost every spot on the floor, winning 99-50.

Two free points came before the clock even started due to a pre-game technical foul on the Ottawa Spirit. UVU sophomore guard Maria Carvalho knocked down both free throws and the Wolverines took off from there, never giving the Spirit a chance at the lead. 

Between points scored in the paint and points coming from bench players, the Wolverines scored 94 of their 99 points. Even more impressive, in those same categories OUAZ only scored six and seven points, respectively. 

Leading the way with those points in the paint was sophomore center Josie Williams. She finished the night with 20 points on 9-of-13 shooting and a perfect 2-for-2 from the charity stripe. 

“I was happy with the progress our bigs made today and hopefully we can keep that going into conference,” said UVU head coach Dan Nielson. “It was good to see Josie finish well today.”

Along with Williams’ 20 points, four of her teammates also put up double-digit points. Sophomore forward Nehaa Sohail and sophomore guard Madison Grange each had 11 points with 3-of-5 shooting from behind the arc for Grange. Freshman center Megan Jensen knocked down 13 points and senior forward Jordan Holland added 12 points herself. 

While there is plenty to celebrate for the Wolverines and their fans, there were still plenty of mistakes made by UVU. Whether it be missing easy layups,not grabbing the simple rebounds here and there or missing 11 of their 16 attempted three pointers. 

“Defensively we were really solid, we knew they were a good shooting team coming in and they proved that the first half hitting like nine threes,” said Nielson. 

Someone UVU had a harder time stopping though was junior guard Kirsten Shinske, who put up 19 points on 7-of-17 shooting and 5-of-12 from deep. It wasn’t until the final few minutes of the game that the Wolverines, with a few defensive matchups, were able to close in on Shinske and held her scoreless in the fourth quarter. 

The Wolverines will now prepare for WAC play when they host Chicago State on Thursday, Jan. 2. With this win over the Spirit, UVU now sits third from the bottom of the WAC standings. At the top of the  leaderboard is CSU Bakersfield and, at the bottom, Chicago State.

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