The Utah Valley women’s basketball team defeated Chicago State on Saturday, Feb. 6 with a final score of 56-46.
The Wolverines swept their home series against CSU after winning previously 61-53 on the night before.
UVU got off to a slow start offensively — they had good execution but were unable to take advantage of their good looks. UVU shot 21% from the field in the first quarter, but their defense was able to keep them in the game by forcing CSU to shoot just 36% from the field. The Wolverines trailed 11-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Early in the second quarter, UVU was still struggling to make shots. Junior guard Madison Grange was able to spark the Wolverines midway through the quarter by hitting a three. That was followed by another three on the next possession by junior forward Nehaa Sohail. This further helped to spark the Wolverines, as they were able to come back and lead 25-23 at halftime.
UVU was able to improve their field goal percentage to to 32% by halftime. All nine of the Wolverines field goals were assisted on, as the team had good ball movement in the first half.
The Wolverines were able to start to pull away in the second half as they went on a 15-1 run over seven minutes. The team had great ball movement as they upped their assist total to 17 assists on 17 made shots, causing CSU to switch from playing primarily a 2-3 zone to man-to-man defense. UVU had their best defensive quarter of the game — they only allowed the Cougars to score six points to help UVU lead 44-29 after three quarters.
The first and only unassisted basket of the game for the Wolverines came early in the fourth quarter. Freshman guard Eleyana Tafisi blew by the CSU defense for a wide open layup. UVU was able to push the lead up to 22 points with five minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Late in the quarter, UVU turned the ball over on five straight possessions that helped the Cougars go on a 13-1 run. Even with the run, CSU was only able to cut the Wolverine lead to ten as UVU won by a final score of 56-46.
For the game, UVU shot 39% from the field and had 15 turnovers. The defense had a good performance — they held CSU to 35% shooting for the game, and they forced 16 turnovers that led to 11 points. UVU also had a great passing game — finishing with 20 assists on 21 made shots.
Junior guard Maria Carvalho led the team in scoring with 12 points. Sophomore forward Shay Fano finished with ten points, eight rebounds, and four assists. Sohail had a strong all-around game, as she led the team with 11 rebounds and seven assists while adding eight points.
The Wolverines move to 6-3 on the year with a 4-2 record in the conference. The team’s next scheduled game is on Friday, Feb. 19, at 5:30 p.m. MDT at home against New Mexico State. The game will be aired on the WAC Digital Network.