Idaho State uses huge fourth quarter run to defeat Utah Valley

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Photos by Kyle McDonald

OREM — In the game of basketball, a team can trail for three quarters of the game and still win. For the Idaho State Bengals, that happened on Tuesday afternoon at the UCCU Center. The Bengals outscored the Wolverines 25-9 in the fourth quarter en route to a 56-47 victory.

“The difference in the game came down to the rebounding,” UVU head coach Cathy Nixon said.UVUWbbvsISU-6 “They had 20 offensive rebounds and outrebounded us by 19. The thing I told the girls is that there are so many things to be paying attention to and sometimes we overlook the things that are winning or losing the game and that’s what I thought happened. We got caught up in whether we were making or missing shots. I thought we got a little passive on the offensive end and settled a little bit for perimeter shots.

After trailing 38-31 at the end of the third quarter, the Bengals used a 9-0 run to start the fourth quarter to take the lead and never looked back. Brooke Blair scored nine of her game-high 15 points in the fourth quarter and Anna Policicchio scored eight of her 14 points as well for the Bengals, who held UVU without a bucket for the final 2:45 of the game.

“We only shot eight free throws,” Nixon said. “But more than anything it was them multiplying their possessions. 20 times we got stops and they went and got the ball. It makes it difficult to win games if you let them get that.”

Karlee Norris came off the bench to score 11 points for UVU, who was playing without leading scorer, Rhaiah Spooner Knight. Knight has missed the last two contests as she is visiting family in New Zealand for the holidays. Mariah Seals had nine points for UVU, which is below her 13 points per game average.

The fourth quarter was brutal for the Wolverines as the basket seemed to have a lid on it. The Wolverines were just 4-of-22 from the field, including 1-of-10 from three point range. The lone three pointer coming from Quynne Huggins with 4:48 to play that cut the Idaho State lead to one.

The Bengals also got to the free throw line 25 times compared to eight for the Wolverines. Idaho State was 16-of-25 from the free throw line, while UVU only made three free throws. UVUWbbvsISU-38

“I think a lot of it was how they defended us,” Nixon said. “They chose to clog the paint and give us threes. We took 26 threes. That might be the most we’ve taken all year and they didn’t fall for us. The rim was just tight tonight. The basket was small and in spite of all that really it came down to getting stops on the defensive end and I really felt like the problem wasn’t on the offensive end.”

UVU will look to bounce back when they host UC Davis on New Year’s Eve in the PE Gym. Tipoff is schedule for 1 p.m. MST.