Comeback comes up short as Utah Valley women fall to Utah State

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OREM — The Utah Valley women suffered their fourth consecutive loss and their first loss at home Thursday night in the PE Gym, losing to Utah State University 76-72.WBB12.10.2015.ByronHarward_1-2

UVU was able to stay close in the first quarter, trailing by just four after the period, but USU won the second 16-7 for a 34-21 halftime lead.
Aggie guard Funda Nakkasoglu led all scorers with 21 points and also grabbed three rebounds while dishing out four assists.  Also scoring in double digits for USU was Tijana Djukic, Julianne Anchling and Victoria Price with 12, 11 and 10 points, respectively. Anchling also grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.
The Wolverines chipped away at the lead in the second half, cutting it to 72-70 on a Rebecca MaWhinney three-pointer with just over one minute to play.  Ultimately, missed free throws and a lack of rebounding doomed the UVU comeback and they were never able to claim the lead.
“They had 21 second chance points and we missed free throws,” said UVU head coach Cathy Nixon.  “I felt like we had the momentum at the time we missed a couple of those free throws, and those two things were the difference.”
UVU was out-rebounded 45-34 including giving up 17 offensive rebounds.  The Wolverines were able to get to the line but had trouble with the freebies once they got there, shooting only 20-of-32 for 63 percent from the stripe. The Wolverine offense shot 41 percent from the field compared to 46 percent for the Aggies.
Deijah Blanks and Mariah Seals scored 15 a piece to lead the Wolverines. Blanks had two assists and also stole two crucial inbound passes that contributed to UVU getting within striking distance to end the game. MaWhinney scored 14 in the losing effort.WBB12.10.2015.ByronHarward-2
The Wolverines will make the short trip to Ogden to try to get back on track against another in-state rival, Weber State University, Saturday, tipping off at 2 p.m. MT.
Photos courtesy of Byron Harward and Julie Ostler