Utah Valley University’s women’s basketball team got upended by the ‘Roos of UMKC by a score of 97-64 Saturday afternoon in Kansas City, suffering its largest loss of the season in conference play.
UMKC came into Saturday attempting to tie with UVU in the WAC standings and to sweep the season series of the Wolverines. They did so, jumping the standings in a crowded WAC to fourth place while UVU fell to fifth after being tied for second just a day earlier.
Despite both teams shooting a combined 2-13 in the beginning of the contest, UMKC finally started to hit its stride offensively near the end of the first quarter. Ericka Mattingly, the UMKC junior guard who opened the game with a triple, ended with eight points in the first quarter and helped UMKC claim a 21-12 lead.
Jordan Holland, a junior forward for UVU who has been playing well as of late, cut into the deficit in the second quarter by rattling off six straight points of her own. However, that run was only followed by a UMKC run of its own. Freshman guard Emily Ivory answered right back by nailing one of her seven threes of the contest, and the Kangaroos subsequently went on a 9-0 run. UMKC didn’t allow UVU to score for over four minutes in the second period and held onto a 44-31 lead going into halftime.
The second half was much of the same for both squads. UMKC went on another 11-0 run in the third quarter behind Mattingly and Ivory’s sharpshooting. The ‘Roos opened that period on an 18-4 run and never looked back.
In a game where both teams couldn’t play more opposite styles, the ‘Roos were able to get the better of the Wolverines with their quick pace, high-pressure defense and transition-based offense. Utah Valley, desiring to slow things down and wanting to play the game in the half court, was never quite able to accomplish that due to UMKC’s constant pressure. Kansas City eventually forced 18 UVU turnovers.
The ‘Roos were also able to drill 13 shots from downtown to assist them in almost reaching the century mark. Ivory had a game-high 25 points for Kansas City while Mattingly had a double-double with 21 points and 11 assists. Leilah Vigil, a freshman forward for UMKC, also tallied a double-double with 14 points and 21 boards. Three scorers reached double figures for the Wolverines with freshman forward Eve Braslis leading the way with 12 points. Alexis Cortez and Holland both netted 11 points in the losing effort for The Valley.
UVU will look to rebound March 2 when they face off against California Baptist. It will be the final home game of the season for the Wolverines with tipoff scheduled for 3 p.m. at Lockhart Arena.
Photo courtesy of UVU Athletics