Cal Baptist sophomore forward Caitlyn Harper scored 30 points for the Lancers and led them to a 83-68 win over UVU Saturday in Orem. CBU entered the game with the second-highest scoring offense in the WAC this season averaging 76.6 points per game.
For UVU it was junior center Josie Williams that led the way with 22 points, 13 rebounds and three assists. Junior guard Madison Grange added 12 points and three assists of her own despite UVU getting out to a slow start offensively against the Lancers, shooting just 31% from the floor in the first half.
“I thought we adjusted well after the start they had. Overall, we took some steps forward but it is frustrating to be in it in the fourth quarter and then have some defensive breakdowns that really cost us,” said head coach Dan Nielson. “Credit the CBU and to Harper, they hit shots and she did a really nice job finishing. I am proud of our fight, especially considering where we’ve been with just five players able to practice this past week. The positive is that we’re back at it on Monday so we’re going to keep working to improve.”
Although there were strong plays by the Wolverines defensively, like the switch by sophomore center Megan Jensen to alter freshman guard Trinity San Antonio’s shot in the first quarter, it wasn’t enough to stop Harper. Harper was responsible for 11 of the Lancer’s 28 first quarter points.
In the second quarter Shay Fano was able to give UVU a spark. Fano’s solid defensive effort led to a transition bucket on the offensive side. She jumped out on a double-team with Wiliams and noticed an open CBU player cutting to the basket. She pivoted to cut off the pass and cause a turnover. On the other end of the floor, Fano’s aggressive move to the basket and subsequent layup cut the Lancer lead to just six points 28-22.
The Wolverines would limit the damage done by CBU in the second quarter from their focus on Harper, holding her to zero points in the period as the Lancers took a 39-31 lead into the half.
Offensively UVU struggled with the inability to put together a large run on the Lancers and take advantage of their mistakes. After Fano hit a 3-point shot in the corner to cut the CBU lead to seven, the Wolverines forced another turnover on the defensive side, but couldn’t capitalize off the extra possession. Despite the offensive troubles, UVU only found themselves trailing by four heading into the fourth quarter 58-54.
CBU finished the game shooting 50% from the field and 51% on 3-point shots. In comparison, the Wolverines shot 36% from the field and just 21% from beyond the arc.
The loss drops UVU to last place in the WAC standings as they fall to 0-3 in conference play and 5-9 overall.
Brice Larson is currently a Junior at UVU majoring in communications with an emphasis in journalism and media studies. He enjoys everything about sports and one day hopes to become a college football analyst and play by play commentator.