UVU’s slow start too much to overcome in 68-53 loss to Stephen F. Austin

Josie Williams became just the 9th member of the 1,000-point club Thursday (Photo courtesy of UVU Athletics).

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The Utah Valley women’s basketball team fell to WAC’s top-ranked Stephen F. Austin at Lockhart Arena on Thursday by a score of 68-53. The Wolverines drop to 9-11 on the season and 4-5 in conference play. 

“I was disappointed with the first quarter. I thought we were timid, and just didn’t execute the things we worked on all week,” said head coach Dan Nielson. “I was proud of the last three quarters. I thought we didn’t give in and some kids off the bench competed and played with some heart. The goal for us is to compete with the best teams in our league and I feel like we are one of them. But we need to be more consistent in our attention to detail.” 

The Wolverines got off to a slow start scoring only three points in the first quarter. SFA’s full-court press gave the Wolverines trouble as they committed 7 turnovers in the period. They went into halftime with a second-quarter surge outscoring the Lady Jacks 17-15 cutting the lead to a 16 point, 36-20 score.

The second half was a much more even battle. The Wolverines outscored SFA in the second by one and improved their field goal percentage to 46%. They also got to the foul line more, hitting 9-12 free throws in addition to a better defensive performance holding the Lady Jacks to just 33% shooting. 

Josie Williams led the Wolverines in scoring with 15 points and 14 rebounds for her WAC leading 14th double-double of the season. Williams’ 15 points made her the 9th player in the program’s history to reach 1,000 career points. 

“I am thankful for the coaches I have here. I definitely wouldn’t have reached the milestone of 1,000 points without them.” Josie said, reflecting on her accomplishment. “And especially my teammates. I am a post, I am not going to score unless they pass me the ball. I am just grateful for them. It is the people around me.”

The Wolverines will next host Sam Houston State at Lockhart Arena on Saturday, Feb. 5. The game tips off at 2 p.m. and can be streamed on ESPN+.

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