The lady Wolverines kicked off the new year in style with an 84-79 victory over in-state rival Utah State on Saturday Jan. 3.
Once again the Canadian duo dominated the court. Robyn Fairbanks and Julie McMurray combined for 64 of the team’s 84 points.
“I was really happy with the way our kids just stepped up physically to compete. Utah State’s a big physical team and the first five minutes of the game it was kind of a slug fest,” said head coach Cathy Nixon. “I thought our kids really came in with that mentality of ‘this is our court’ and we’re here to defend it.”
McMurray has become one of UVU’s top scorers alongside Fairbanks. “McMurray has established herself as a legitimate scorer and impact player at the Division I level, I really am pleased with her overall consistent play this year, she’s getting better defensively and asserting herself offensively,” Nixon added.
Asumi Nakayama also really stepped up with assists during the game. “Nakayama helps the offense tremendously,” Nixon said. “She’s able to quarterback the team and really be an extension of the coaching staff on the floor, I think she really has taken that role and control.”
Nakayama played the majority of the game and had eight assists to help the Wolverines pull away the win.
The Wolverines really showed the Aggies how they could play as a team even with the heavy pressure in the last few minutes. “The scoring needed to balance out and having multiple kids make their contributions was really important,” said Nixon.