Wolverines secure win over solid UTRGV performance

Shay Fano's double-double helped Utah Valley knock off UT Rio Grande Valley on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. (Photo courtesy of UTRGV Athletics)

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The Utah Valley women’s basketball team took a trip to Edinburg, Texas to play the competitive UT Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros for a low-scoring yet scrappy game, ending 62-54 in favor of UVU. Despite UTRGV coming into the game with only one conference win, their performance last night should not be overlooked, and UVU’s victory should not be downplayed. In particular, the Wolverine’s had to rally together to match the performance of UTRGV’s Amara Graham who scored 24 points. She shot 80% from beyond the arc with the same percentage behind the free throw line.

The first quarter was low scoring with the lead going back and forth. Junior center Josie Williams was fouled as the first quarter buzzer went off. Her made free throw tied the teams up 9-9. After a brief time of neither team scoring at the beginning of the second quarter, junior guard Madison Grange kicked the scoring off with an impressive hook. This was followed by two free throws by Williams, who led the team in scoring with 15 points. 

Graham immediately answered with two back-to-back buckets for the Vaqueros. At the end of the first half, Graham got hot and took control. She had 13 points, matching the number of points that UVU’s entire team had scored at that point. The half ended 16-13 in favor of UTRGV.

The Wolverines came out swinging in the third quarter with a smooth jumper by junior guard Kayla Anderson. Williams put them back ahead, but was answered with a deep 3-pointer by Graham. Williams answered back to tie it back up, and junior guard Maria Carvallo started putting the pressure when she snagged a ball that was knocked loose by the Wolverines. In this sequence of plays she puts back her own miss to tie the game, then immediately after dishes a hot one to Shay Fano to pull ahead. 

Fano also had a great game with 14 points, 11 rebounds, and three steals. The Wolverines took control of the rest of the game, while still having to answer to Graham — as well as Jena Williams and Burcu Soysal — who combined for 17 points. UVU won 62-54 to improve to 9-5 (7-4) on the year.

The Wolverines and Vaqueros face off again on Saturday, Feb. 27 with tip-off at 2 p.m. MT on the WAC Digital Network.

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