UVU’s shooting struggles continued as the Wolverines suffered a blowout versus BYU, losing 59-44 and falling to 1-1 on the season.
The game started out physical, as UVU came out of the gate aggressive, forcing turnovers and clearly frustrating the BYU offense as the Wolverines went through the first quarter keeping pace with the Cougars.
“We wanted to turn them over, we wanted to speed them up and I think forcing 20 turnovers and holding a Big 12 team to under 60 is definitely something to be proud of,” UVU coach Dan Nielson.
Ally Criddle and Tessa Chaney proved to be formidable scoring threats early, helping to keep the score close with a variety of drives and post moves.
Unfortunately, once again the Achilles heel of the UVU offense was once again their shooting, with the team going 3-17 from three and not hitting their first shot from beyond the arc until late in the third quarter, and by then the game was pretty much out of hand.
“Once the game was out of reach we started shooting with a little more confidence, we just need to keep drilling it,” added Nielson.
Another issue that plagued the Wolverines was rebounding, with offensive rebounds being far too frequent for BYU, with Lauren Gustin ending the game with 21 rebounds, with 10 of those being offensive.
As the second half started BYU’s shooting started to give them a sizable lead, with UVU runs being halted by timely threes, and eventually Utah Valley’s inability to score consistently would lead to a Cougar run that would push their lead to 20 by the fourth quarter – a lead that the Wolverines would find difficult to overcome.
Regardless of the box score the Wolverines showed a surprising amount of fight against a Power five opponent, “I’m genuinely proud of our girls. If we can maintain the defense and energy, and start knocking down some shots, I like where we’re headed. Especially headed into conference play,” emphasized Nielson.
UVU will hope to regain some momentum this Saturday Nov. 18, against the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. This game will be broadcast on ESPN+.