Kyle Bruderer, Sports Writer
The Wolverines of Utah Valley University were handed their first loss of the season in their home opener against the Eastern Washington Eagles, UVU lost a close one 68-62.
“It’s never satisfying to lose a game but in terms of our process of getting better I feel like we’re a much better team than we were a week ago.” Said Head coach Cathy Nixon.
UVU took a 22-13 lead midway through the first half and played stellar team defense. Eastern Washington struggled shooting the ball early on but with eight and a half minutes left in the half they went on a 16-3 run to retake the lead. The two teams traded buckets in the final minutes of the half but a pair of free throws by Rhaiah Spooner-Knight put UVU back on top 35-34 just before halftime.
Freshman point guard Mariah Seals got into some foul trouble which forced Spooner-Knight to run the offense through most of the 2nd half. Offensively that was a blow to UVU because Spooner-Knight was leading the team in scoring. With Seals out of the game the Eagles took a 10 point lead with only seven minutes remaining.
As time was winding down Mariah Seals checked back into the game relieving Spooner-Knight of point guard duties and Spooner-Knight took full advantage by scoring six quick points for UVU. Seals and junior guard Patrice Toston continued the scoring run with a pair of steals and transition layups cutting the lead to just two with three minutes remaining.
In the final minutes of play the Eagles made crucial baskets which made the Wolverines play the fouling game the rest of the way. UVU was unable to come away with a victory. Eastern Washington was lead by senior forward Melissa Williams who put up 18 points, 12 rebounds, and 3 blocks. Rhaiah Spooner-Knight finished with 20 points and 6 rebounds. Karlee Norris also played a solid game finishing with 9 points and 12 rebounds.
Utah Valley will be playing at home again on Saturday Nov. 15th at 3:00pm against Bristol University.