The Utah Valley University women’s basketball team (4-15, 1-7 Western Athletic Conference) lost their seventh-straight game, 71-56, to the Sam Houston State University Bearkats (8-9, 4-3) on Saturday, Jan. 21 at the Johnson Coliseum in Huntsville, Texas.
The Wolverines could not respond after the Bearkats built a 41-24 lead, including a 22-point second quarter, heading into halftime. The Bearkats then held off a 32-point second half by the Wolverines to win the game 71-56
With the losing streak, UVU remains in last place in the WAC Standings.
Kaylee Byon and Shay Fano led the Wolverines in scoring with 17 points and 16 points, respectively. Byon went 5-10 from the field and 6-6 from the free-throw line and added a team-high of five assists and two steals. Fano added five rebounds and one steal. Ally Criddle had nine points, a team-high six rebounds, two steals, and two assists while Mae Afoa clocked six points and five boards.
With four points from Byon and a layup from Fano, the Wolverines opened the first quarter with a 6-2 run in the first three minutes. However, Bearkat Kaylee Jefferson scored eight unanswered points to help SHSU take a 10-6 lead.
Fano scored five points to cut the Bearkats’ lead down 13-11; however, SHSU would use a 6-0 run to end the quarter with a 19-11 lead.
The Bearkats stayed on fire to begin the second quarter, erupting for a 12-5 run in the first five minutes to jump out to a 31-16 lead. Fano and Byon were able to score four unanswered points to make the score 31-20 with 3:31 remaining in the half. However, SHSU would use a 10-4 run to close out the period with a 41-24 lead.
The Wolverines opened the second half swinging, using threes from Afoa and Fano along with four points from Criddle to go on a 10-4 run and make the score 45-34 with 6:22 remain. However, the Bearkats once again responded and finished the third quarter on a 9-2 run to give themselves a 54-36 advantage.
The Bearkats kept their foot on the pedal to start the fourth quarter, using a 13-6 run to jump out to a 67-42 lead with 5:13 remaining. Despite the massive deficit, the Wolverines kept fighting until the end and closed out the game on a 14-4 run, including seven points from Byon, to end the game with a final score of 71-56.
The Wolverines will now look to move up in the WAC Standings in a matchup against the University of Seattle Redhawks (1-16, 1-6), who is just one spot above UVU, on Thursday, Jan. 26 at the UCCU Center in Orem, Utah. The game will tip off at 6 p.m. MT and can be streamed on ESPN+.
Sophomore at UVU. Writer for the UVU review, statistician for UVU ESPN+, and play-by-play commentator for UVU Men’s Lacrosse.