UVU WBB defeats 19-2 Lancers, moves into T-8 in WAC standings

Reading Time: 3 minutes UVU WBB upset the Cal Baptist Lancers in overtime at the Lockhart arena on Thursday, moving into WAC Tournament contention.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Utah Valley Wolverines secured an upset victory against 19-2 Cal Baptist Lancers in an overtime thriller, the Wolverines exploded for a season-high 92 points, with Tessa Chaney scoring a career-high 25 points, and Jenna Dick scoring 26 points, a season-high.  Every point was needed as the Wolverines finally were able to put away the Lancers 92-89 and improve to 9-14 on the season. 

The game was tight from the very beginning, CBU pushed the pace early, something UVU doesn’t often do, but surprisingly, the Wolverines began to look right at home at this advanced pace, not only keeping pace with the Lancers but surpassing them in many ways. This was helped by a great shooting night by the Wolverines, led by an incredible performance by Jenna Dick. “That’s my strength, when I’m confident, and I don’t hesitate, and I know it’s going in, that’s when good things happen.”

Good things happened indeed when Dick had the ball, it seemed every shot she took was going in, with most of her threes coming at vital moments she proved to be a life raft that started Wolverine runs and stopped Lancer ones. Fast break points were also a fixture of the Wolverines offensive game plan, going up 23-12  by the middle of the second quarter. 

This lead quickly evaporated as poor passing and sloppy play plagued the Wolverines, this allowed the Lancers to play their brand of basketball, and all of this combined with constant defensive lapses allowed CBU to get open three-pointers basically whenever they wanted. 

With momentum slipping away Tessa Chaney would step up, fighting through constant double teams and being heroic in the low post, a wizard of offensive positioning she would manage to get open even under the closest defense, with 19 of her points coming in the second half she would keep the Wolverines alive.  

This momentum would only grow, CBU looked out of sorts, constant offensive lapses, and three possessions in a row that ended in travels would kill any offensive momentum they had, but luckily for them, Chloe Webb came alive. “Webb is the best player in the league by far,” said Utah Valley head coach Dan Nielsen. She proved it tonight scoring 32 points and being a consistent spark of offense for the Lancers. The Wolverines’ momentum slowly eroded.

A once seven-point lead disappearing, and a 9-0 Lancers run would nearly bury the Wolverines. Once again, however, Chaney would be the one to step up. She scored seven straight points, tying the game up with 10 seconds left to force overtime. “In the past when we’ve had teams go on runs we sort of gave in a little bit, we talked all week about being focused and constantly being on the attack,” said Nielsen “We stayed on the attack, and hit some big shots down the stretch.” 

Overtime was all Wolverines. Kylee Mabry went on a run of her own, hitting back-to-back threes, accompanied by Chaney and Dick who would only add to their heroics, and with a final two free throws to ice the game from Mabry, UVU would ice the game, ending their seven game losing streak against the Lancers, and ending a historic night from nearly every player involved. 

“I am proud of them for their fight against a really good team, and hopefully this game gives them confidence for the games ahead,” commented Nielson. 

Utah Valley moves into T-8 in the WAC standings at 4-10 along with Southern Utah and Tarleton State, and just half a game behind UTRGV. Only the top eight teams in the WAC make the tournament in March, Utah Valley currently is at the bottom of the tiebreaker and has some work to do.

This game was sorely needed for the Wolverines, beating not just a good team but a great team, scoring 92 points, and shooting great from three are things that can be hopefully taken to a vitally important game against Southern Utah University this Saturday at 2:00 PM in Lockhart Arena. That game will be broadcast on ESPN+.