The Utah Valley women's basketball team fell to Montana State 66-63 on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. Photo by Kayla Bassett, UVU Athletic Marketing.

The Utah Valley women’s basketball team fell to Montana State on Saturday, Jan. 2, by a final score of 66-63.

The Wolverines were originally scheduled to play Simpson University but the game was canceled due to a positive COVID-19 case in the Simpson program. UVU was able to come to an agreement with Montana State to play. The two teams were originally scheduled to play on Dec. 12 but the game was canceled.

MSU gave UVU different defensive looks early including man-to-man, 2-3 zone, and some full court press but UVU was able to take the lead early, going up 18-15 after the first quarter. The Wolverines were led by sophomore forward Shay Fano and junior center Josie Williams who both scored 6 points in the quarter.

In the second quarter UVU struggled with turning the ball over with 9 turnovers in the quarter  that led to a 4 minute scoring drought. By halftime the Wolverines had 14 turnovers. MSU took advantage of the Wolverines’ struggles and went on to take a 33-28 lead.

By the end of the third quarter, UVU was down by 10 points but came out with a strong fourth quarter by going on a 9-0 run early. MSU followed with a 7-0 run of their own but the Wolverines were not done by answering right back with a 7-0 run. With the Wolverines fourth quarter push they were able to get back into the game and got within 3 points but Montana State was able to hold off UVU in the end as the Wolverines fell by a final score of 66-63.

For the Wolverines, this was the first game they have played since Dec. 10, as their last three games had been canceled. They were still able to shoot 47% from the field and 44% from three as well as holding MSU to 39% shooting for the game. UVU also led the rebounding battle by getting 40 rebounds to MSU’s 29. 

Williams led the Wolverines in scoring with 17 points and also added eight rebounds. It was not enough to overcome the 23 turnovers committed by the team — which led to 22 points off of turnovers for the Bobcats. MSU’s bench was also a strength for them, outscoring UVU’s bench 29-11.

Fano finished the game with 13 points and five rebounds and junior guard Madison Grange finished with 10 points and hit two 3-pointers off the bench for the Wolverines. 

UVU is set to open up conference play on Friday, Jan. 8 on the road against California Baptist. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m. MDT and the game will be aired on the WAC Digital Network.

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