Photo by Mykah Heaton
OREM, Utah—The women’s basketball team hosted the Weber State Wildcats Wednesday night in its second consecutive game against an in-state foe. Unfortunately, just like against BYU, it came up short. There were five things that stood out above the rest.
Tale of two halves
Throughout the first half, the Wolverines were able to pressure the Wildcats into some poor shots and the road team shot just 28 percent through the first 20 minutes of play. It was a different story in the second half, as Weber State started to play more efficiently on the offensive end, shooting 53 percent from the floor. Although the overall effort was solid, the Wolverines will look to have a more complete defensive unit moving forward.
Inability to cool the hot hand
Nearly half of the Wildcats’ points were scored by Deeshyra Thomas, who finished the night with 30. Just as impressive for Thomas, she made 14-of-21 field goals and played 37 minutes. The Wolverines tried different defenders and even double teams, but could not slow her down. When it mattered most, it was Thomas who rose to the occasion, scoring nine points in the final 10 minutes of play.
Points off turnovers
Although both teams turned the ball over early and often, 18 for Utah Valley and 16 for Weber State, it was what each did with the turnovers that was the difference. The Wildcats doubled-up the Wolverines on points off turnovers, scoring 26 while UVU managed just 13. The Wolverines did, however, improve immensely from their 27-turnover performance against BYU earlier in the week. Now they need to convert turnovers into baskets.
Dominating down low
One area of the game that the Wolverines took control of early was points in the paint. After getting pushed around against BYU, Utah Valley scored 38 points down low against Weber State.
While some teams will quickly blame others for a loss, it was clear the Wolverines knew where this one got out of hand.
“I felt like for three quarters we beat them,” said Utah Valley head coach Cathy Nixon. “In the fourth quarter, I thought we weren’t tough. They beat us to loose balls and rebounds, and that’s what as a young team we are going to focus on and learn from.”
As coach Nixon holds the team accountable, it will continue to improve.