UNLV hands the Wolverines their second-straight loss of the season

The Wolverines have only scored 124 points in their first three games so far this season

Ally Criddle brings the ball up for the Wolverines (Photo courtesy of UVU Athletics).

The Utah Valley University women’s basketball team (1-2) fell 82-38 to the University of Nevada Las Vegas Lady Rebels (3-0) on Wednesday evening at the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

The Wolverines were unable to hang with UNLV as the Lady Rebels fired at 49.2% from the field compared to the UVU’s 32% (including 7.1% from three). The Wolverines could not score more than 14 points in a single quarter while the Lady Rebels scored 25 points or more in two quarters. 

26 of the Wolverines’ points came from the paint while 13 were scored in the paint and bench players scored 10. UVU also had six fast break points.

Senior guard Kayla Anderson led the Wolverines in scoring with nine points while forward Jaeden Brown was right behind her with eight points, going 3-6 from the field, and having three defensive rebounds. Eleyana Tafisi added six points, three boards, and two assists. Shay Fano lead the team in rebounds with five.

The Lady Rebels jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead to start the first quarter. A layup by Anderson and a jumper inside the paint by Fano would cut the deficit down to 5-4 with seven minutes left in the quarter. UNLV would go on another 5-0 run to take a 10-4 lead before Brown answered inside the key with her first bucket of the night. However, the Lady Rebels closed out the quarter on a 16-0 run to take a 26-6 lead after the first quarter.

After a scoreless start to the second quarter by both teams, Anderson found Brown for a layup to make the score 26-8. After a 4-0 run by the Lady Rebels in response, the Wolverines went on a 6-2 run (with four of the points coming from Tafisi) to lessen the deficit to 32-14. However, UNLV would then jump to an 8-2 run to close out the half with a 40-16 lead. 

Anderson gave the Wolverines a strong start to the third quarter. Following a pair of UNLV free throws to start the half, Anderson took the Wolverines on a 7-2 run in which she scored all of the points by herself, making the Lady Rebels’ lead 44-23. With less than five minutes left in the half, Ally Criddle scored her first points of the season with a no-doubt three-pointer (and the only UVU three of the game). 

Unfortunately for the Wolverines, UNLV caught fire again and finished the quarter with a 15-2 run to go up 65-30. 

The Lady Rebels continued to sizzle in the fourth quarter, going on a 17-4 run in the first eight minutes of the quarter. During that run, Kaylee Byon scored her second and third points of the season and Saige Gibb scored her first points as a Wolverine. The Wolverines would finish the game positively with a jumper from Tessa Chaney and two free throws from Abby Conlee (her first points of the season) to make a 4-0 run and make the final score 82-38.

Paint defense and turnovers haunted the Wolverines as the Lady Rebels scored 38 points inside the paint and 27 points off turnovers. The Lady Rebels also scored 22 second-chance points and 13 fast-break points while having 30 points from their bench. UNLV also had four players score in double figures.

UVU will next compete against the Weber State University Wildcats (0-2) on Saturday at 1 p.m. MT in the Dee Events Center in Ogden, Utah. This will be the Wildcats’ home opener. The game can be streamed on ESPN+.

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