Wolverines end eight-game skid, defeat TSU 63-59 in OT

Reading Time: 2 minutes The Utah Valley Wolverines find themselves back in the win column after a 63-59 victory over the Tarleton State Texans.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Utah Valley University women’s basketball team (5-16, 2-8 Western Athletic Conference) snapped an eight-game losing streak in a 63-59 overtime victory over the Tarleton State University Texans (7-14, 1-9 WAC) on Saturday, Feb. 4, at the Wisdom Gym in Stephenville, Texas.

After trailing the Texans 26-16 heading into halftime, the Wolverines rallied in the second half of regulation, with Kaylee Byon scoring the go-ahead jumper, to force overtime with a score of 49-49. The Wolverines then jumped to a lead in overtime and held on to win 63-59.

Byon has an outstanding performance for the Wolverines, scoring a game-high 21 points, going 7-12 from the field and 7-8 from the free throw line, while adding three rebounds. Shay Fano was the second-leading scorer for the Wolverines, flirting with a double-double by posting 14 points and grabbing nine boards. 

Mae Afoa had nine points along with five rebounds, two assists, and one steal. Ally Criddle added eight points, six rebounds, and two steals while Eleyana Tafisi had seven points, six assists, one steal, and the Wolverine’s sole block of the game.

The Wolverines scored 28 points in the paint and 16 points off of the Texans’ turnovers.

UVU started the first quarter strong, using four different scorers to jump out to an 8-3 run with 5:02 left. However, TSU responded with an 11-3 run to close out the quarter and take a 14-11 lead.

The Texans had another dominant quarter in the second frame, outscoring the Wolverines 12-5, to take a 26-16 lead heading into halftime.

The Wolverines opened the third quarter swinging, erupting for a 9-4 run, with four points from Afoa, cutting the deficit down to 30-25. During the last two minutes of the quarter, Fano scored seven points to give the Wolverines a strong finish and cut the Texans’ lead to 36-32 heading into the fourth quarter.

UVU continued its ascent in the fourth quarter, chipping the Texans’ lead gradually despite TSU still scoring points. Byon led the comeback, accounting for eight points in the quarter, including the game-tying bucket that took the game into overtime with a score of 49-49. The Wolverines outscored TSU 17-13 in the quarter.

The Wolverines, with six more points from Byon, jumped out to an 8-4 run to take a 58-53 lead with 41 seconds left in overtime. 

After a three from the Texans made the score 58-56 with 28 seconds remaining, the Wolverines scored five more points from free throws to outlast TSU 63-59. 

The win also marks the second conference win for the Wolverines and puts them out of last place in the WAC standings.

The Wolverines now look to maintain their momentum as they travel to Abilene, Texas to take on the Abilene Christian University Wildcats (10-11, 4-6 WAC) on Monday, Feb. 6, at the Moody Coliseum. The game will tip off at 1 p.m. MST and can be streamed on ESPN+.