The Utah Valley women’s basketball team defeated Tarleton state on Wednesday, Feb. 16, at Lockhart Arena by a score of 75-53. The Wolverines take their win streak to three games after dismantling New Mexico State and Tarleton in back-to-back contests.
“It’s been a better buy-in in terms of what needs to be done to win,” said head coach Dan Nielson on his team’s recent success.“I feel like they’re really playing together, playing with the purpose of winning, not for themselves.”
Josie Williams and Maria Carvalho lead the way for the Wolverines in an offensive clinic. Carvalho put up 22 points to go along with five rebounds and four assists while Williams had 18 points in addition to her 11 rebounds, notching her 18th double-double of the season. Williams is currently ranked fifth in the nation in double-doubles this season. Megan Jensen and Tahlia White also had big games. Jensen was the third Wolverine to reach double figures with 11 points to go along with six rebounds and White had nine points, all scored in the second half. The Wolverines shot a blistering 52.6% from the field in the game and 50% from three.
“Everybody was contributing…everybody was playing their role as best as they can,” said Nielson.
The first quarter came with a quick pace as both teams looked to get out on the break and move the ball early. The Wolverines wasted no time, jumping out to a quick 6-0 lead. The Wolverines utilized a combination of tempo and ball pressure to force the issue. Maria Carvalho and Josie Williams led the way for the Wolverines offensively in the period, with Carvalho putting up seven in the quarter and Williams scoring six. The Wolverines shot a blistering 64% from the field as the Tarleton offense struggled to keep up. After one, the Wolverines held a firm 19-12 lead.
The Wolverines continued to test the Texan guards with their up-tempo offense as well as full-court on-ball pressure. The duo of Carvalho and Williams continued to deliver for the Wolverines, with Carvalho putting up five points and Williams scoring six. Meghan Jensen also had a big quarter with four points off the bench. UVU rode a 6-0 run in the final 1:46 of play in the first half to take a double-digit lead, 38-25.
Going into the halftime break, the Wolverines shot 54.5% from the field while holding Tarleton to just 33% shooting. Tarleton, however, hit a higher clip from behind the arc, out-shooting the Wolverines 50% to 16%. The Wolverines also forced eight first-half turnovers while keeping control of the ball with just four on their end. Williams and Carvalho had 12 points each, carrying out the bulk of the scoring load.
The second half was all UVU as they managed to extend their lead behind solid defense and hot shooting. Williams and Carvalho both continued to contribute offensively, however other Wolverines came to life offensively. Tahlia White scored all nine of her points in the second half to go along with Megan Jensen, who put in five points, and Madison Grange, who put in four. In a well-balanced team effort, the Wolverines shot 71.4% from three and coasted to victory 75-53.
The Wolverines have now won three straight games, including defeating New Mexico State and Tarleton state by a combined 56 points. UVU will put its win streak to the test against Dixie State on Saturday, Feb. 19 at Lockhart Arena. The game tips off at 2 p.m. MT and can be streamed on ESPN+.
Sports Editor and Senior Staff Writer
Senior at Utah Valley University majoring in applied communications.