Jessica Whalen with additional reporting from Garrett Coleman
The Wolverines hit another skid in the season, losing three straight losses after winning two in a row. Utah Valley fell on the road against Grand Canyon University 88-51 on Jan 11, and again at home to Idaho 55-96, on Jan. 16.
Unfortunately, UVU never had the lead in the game falling behind from the beginning. GCU came out with an early 12-2 lead on the Wolverines, who were never able to recover from the early blow as GCU continued to dominate the game.
“They outplayed us in every facet,” said head coach Cathy Nixon. “They executed so well on the offensive end and took us out of rhythm on the defensive end. When you come on the road you’ve got to be ready to go from the jump. Hopefully we learn a few things but you’ve got to hand it to Grand Canyon. They played a great game.”
The win for Grand Canyon places them ahead in the overall all-time series. The first win for Utah Valley was their first meeting in 2006.
The Vandals played hard the entire game, taking and hitting threes to give them big leads throughout the game. The Vandals came out with a 7-0 run. In the game, they continued to keep the throttle down by shooting an impressive 54 percent, and 52 percent from distance en route to the 41-point victory.
Turnovers were a big factor in the way the Wolverines played their game. Utah Valley had a total of 15 during the game, which is a big contrast to Idaho’s four. Turnovers alone contributed to a lot of the problems that plagued the Wolverines throughout the game.
“Idaho is a very well balanced team,” said Nixon. “They’re good defensively with a lot of people who contribute on the offensive end. They’re really just a solid team that executes well and has multiple tools.”
A bright spot for the Wolverines was the play by Freshman Rhaiah Spooner-Knight, by scoring 10 points in each game.
Joining Spooner-Knight against Idaho was sophomore center, Sam Loggins. The pair were the only Wolverines to score in the double-digits, each having 10 points apiece.
The Wolverines will continue to improve as WAC play continues, but the road gets tougher as they face Seattle, a preseason favorite, on Jan. 18 along with a string of away games at Kansas City Jan. 23 and at Chicago State Jan. 25
Garrett is native of Orem, Utah. He is a graduate of Timpanogos High School. While in high school, Garrett enjoyed playing sports and was a double lettered athlete in football in wrestling. After a short stint of college football at Dixie State, Garrett made his way back to Utah Valley in pursuit of his aspirations of becoming a sports journalist. Garrett has been contributing for the UVU Review for three years and has covered sports, specializing in wrestling. Garrett is married to Jodi Coleman and served an LDS mission to Baguio Philippines. You can follow him on twitter @legendgary