UVU wins big against William Jessup, 84-43

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The Utah Valley women’s basketball team blew out William Jessup on Thursday, Dec. 10, by a final score of 84-43. The Wolverines improve to 2-0 on the season.

The game was originally supposed to be played on Jan. 2, 2021 but was moved up after UVU’s last two games were canceled due to COVID-19 testing and contact tracing protocols. William Jessup was already in town after playing Southern Utah on Wednesday, Dec. 9. This was WJU’s third game in three days.

Coach Dan Nielson said the team had only been able to practice four times in the last 27 days due to coronavirus protocols, although he said the lack of preparation didn’t seriously impact the team’s play.

“It did not affect prep too much, but more on conditioning,” he said. “It was good to get some rust off.”

The Wolverines started out the game strong going up 18-10 in the first quarter behind six points from sophomore forward Shay Fano. The team began to pull away in the second quarter as they shot 7-of-15 from behind the arc in the first half. UVU also played strong defense by allowing WJU to shoot only 27 % from the field. Junior guard Maria Carvalho, had a big second quarter scoring, 12 points — including three 3-pointers and helping UVU go up 44-18 at the half. 

A lot of players were able to get playing time as the Wolverines pulled away further and led 65-27 at the end of the third quarter. The entire team contributed as the bench finished with 42 points — led by sophomore guard Sydney Wright and freshman guard Eleyana Tafisi, who both ended the game with nine points.

Carvalho led the team in scoring with 14 points and Fano had an all around effort with 13 points, seven rebounds and four assists. 

“Huge for her,” Nielson said of Fano’s performance ”She stepped up and played like herself. We’re excited about what she can do for us this year.” 

UVU shot 37% as a team from 3-point range and finished the game with 11 made 3’s from eight different players. 

“We knew there would be a size advantage and that the shots would be there,” said Coach Nielson. “That was a point of emphasis this summer. Would have liked to have seen a few more made.”

The team’s game against Montana State on Saturday was canceled. Their next scheduled game is on Tuesday, Dec. 15 at 3 p.m. MST on the road against BYU. The game will be aired live on BYUtv.