Know thy enemy: A preview of the week in UVU sports

Photo by Mynah Heaton

The UVU basketball teams are heading down the stretch of their WAC schedules. After this week, each will have just one regular season game remaining prior to their respective conference tournaments. While the women will remain on campus and host rematches against New Mexico State University and the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley, the men will be paying a visit to those teams’ home courts. The Wolverine baseball and softball teams have also begun play, but remain on the road until March.

The men’s basketball team will go into New Mexico Thursday looking for redemption after nearly knocking off NMSU in the UCCU Events Center earlier this season. The Aggies finally had their 20-game win streak snapped Feb. 9 when Cal State Bakersfield downed them 72-53 to take over first place in the conference standings. NMSU then suffered back-to-back losses for the first time this season, losing to Grand Canyon University the same week. Still, the Aggies are a force to be reckoned with, with an average margin of victory of 11.2 points. Eli Chuha and Jemerrio Jones each average nearly a double-double per game for the Aggies.

UVU will finish the weekend with a Saturday visit to UTRGV. The Wolverines will be looking to sweep the season series against the Vaqueros after defeating them at home 92-81 Jan. 26. That result netted the third highest scoring total for UVU on the season, and the UTRGV defense hasn’t improved much since then, still allowing over 81 points per contest. Defeating the Vaqueros at home will be a different story, however, as they have only won a single game on the road this season. UTRGV’s leading scorers, Nick Dixon and Antonio Green, average a combined 35.4 points per game.

The women’s basketball team will welcome NMSU to the Lockhart Arena at 7 p.m. Thursday. UVU was defeated by NMSU Jan. 28 by the score of 63-46. A poor second half performance doomed the Wolverines after being down by just one point at halftime. The Aggies lead the conference in scoring offense and defense, helping them to first place in the conference standings. Brooke Salas leads the Aggies in scoring, and put up 24 points against UVU in the first encounter.

The Wolverines will complete their two-game home stand in the Lockhart Arena Saturday against UTRGV, with tipoff scheduled for 3 p.m. UVU took a six-point lead into the fourth quarter in its first game with UTRGV on Jan. 26. That’s when the Vaqueros outscored the Wolverines 20-5 in the final quarter and won the game 64-55. This season, UTRGV has scored over 440 points in its fourth quarters, outscoring the opponents by 29. The Vaqueros have two players averaging more than 10 points per game this season, Shawnte’ Goff and Mary Savoy. Goff also leads the team in assists with 3.2 per game.

Reporting by: Kaleb Searle, Ryan Willie

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