Kyle Bruderer, Sports Writer
The Utah Valley University women’s basketball team came away victorious on Monday night at the UCCU center against the visiting Diggers of Montana Tech with a final score of 75-65 thanks to a sound performance by Sophomore guard Rhaiah Spooner-Knight.
“It’s awesome! I like starting the season off well,” said Spooner-Knight on her team’s 2-1 start. “I have a lot more freedom now, especially as a young team I’m more of a leader so I have more opportunities to do what I can do.”
The Wolverines played their first three games in the span of four days. Even though playing multiple games in such a short period of time can be mentally and physically draining, head coach Cathy Nixon had good reason.
“You don’t have too many opportunities to play back to back to back games like that and that’s what you have to do at the WAC tournament,” said head coach Cathy Nixon. “My intention was to start the season the same way that we have to end the season.”
UVU took an early 10-2 lead over the Diggers but that lead soon disappeared. Montana Tech started raining down three pointer after three pointer making 7-10 in the first half. The Diggers took a one point lead after a three pointer from Martha Dembek midway through the first. Perimeter defense was an issue for the Wolverines, but they managed to finish the half with six steals as a team and 14 points from junior center Sam Loggins resulting in a 42-34 lead.
In the second half UVU extended their lead to 21 points with five minutes remaining. Spooner-Knight earned player of the game honors with 17 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists. Loggins and junior guard Patrice Toston each chipped in with 16 points as well.
54 of the Wolverines 75 points were scored in the paint which translated into a good field goal percentage, as a team UVU shot 53 percent from the floor. The Diggers were lead by Dembek who had 20 points on 7-10 shooting and she pulled down 9 rebounds nearly grabbing a double-double. Montana Tech went on an impressive 11-0 run in the final three minutes of regulation but it was not enough to defeat UVU.
UVU will play their next game at Utah State on Thursday Nov. 20th at 7:00 pm.