Utah Valley University was in Las Cruces, N.M. on Thursday night to face rival New Mexico State. This would be UVU’s first game in exactly 14 days, as their Feb. 9 game at Seattle was postponed due to bad weather.
The last time the Wolverines visited Las Cruces was last season where they left town with a 27-point loss. There was nothing positive about that game, especially from a shooting stand point, where the Wolverines shot barely 37 percent from the field.
UVU led for a majority of the first half in this one but it was the Aggies who held a two-point lead at the half. NMSU started out the second half on a 7-0 run and would keep a steady lead from there. The Wolverines pulled within four points but couldn’t complete the comeback, falling by a score of 84-77.
There were not too many differences at the end of the game on the stat sheet except for two, turnovers and rebounds. The Wolverines had two more turnovers than the Aggies and were out-rebounded 35-31. Those two areas are ones that head coach Mark Pope has stressed throughout the season, and are the two that came back to bite the Wolverines in the end of this one.
NMSU had two big performances from a pair of their seniors, guard JoJo Zamora and forward Eli Chuha. Zamora had 17 points and shot 5-7 from behind the arc, while Chuha posted a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
Senior guard Ben Nakwaasah led UVU in points on the night with 18, while junior center Baylee Steele had a double-double of 11 points and 12 boards.
UVU will stay on the road through the weekend hoping to get back on track in the conference as the WAC tournament is exactly a month away. The Wolverines will head to Edinburg, TX to take on UT Rio Grande Valley on Saturday, Feb. 16.
Photo courtesy of: Megan DeHaas