Women’s basketball: five takeaways from overtime loss to CSU Bakersfield

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OREM—Gabrielle Leos knocked down a big-time 3-pointer with six seconds remaining in regulation to put the Wolverines ahead. But, it wasn’t enough as the Runners won in overtime. Here are five takeaways from the game.

More reserves

Sariah Wi Neera, the freshman guard, received just one minute of playing time in the game but it’s a sign of good things to come. Not just for Wi Neera, but for a UVU squad that has struggled to keep bodies on the court. While it is uncertain whether Wi Neera in particular hasn’t been playing due to injury, several Wolverines are hurt and are expected to return in the next few weeks. The addition of these players gives head coach Cathy Nixon more flexibility with the roster and a more natural rotation to work with.

Turnover indicator

UVU had two fewer turnovers than CSUB, edging them out 16 to 18. In games when the Wolverines commit fewer turnovers than their opponent, they are 3-3, as opposed to 3-9 when they commit more. By taking better care of the ball, UVU puts itself in a good position to win the game. In the second half, UVU turned the ball over 10 times, two more than CSUB. The Runners also outscored the Wolverines 40-32 in the second half.

Shooting woes

Losing a game in overtime by four points isn’t bad for a team that shot a 28 percent clip from the field. Taylor Gordon scored 22 points but did so shooting 5-of-20. Mariah Seals and Sam Lubcke didn’t fare much better. Luckily to keep the game close, UVU shot 44 percent from beyond the arc with seven threes.

Friendly confines

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for Lockhart Arena took place before the game and free pizza was offered to students as well. There was a large crowd on hand, including a nice MAWL section. The crowd helped give a home-court advantage to the Wolverines and energized UVU at times, especially during an 8-0 run in the first quarter. The smaller gym was louder and more fun for women’s basketball than the cavernous UCCU Events Center.

Bartee time

The Runners’ Jazmyne Bartee was unstoppable Saturday afternoon. “She’s just crazy athletic,” Nixon said. She scored a game-high 23 points and grabbed 13 boards for an impressing double-double performance. What’s more, Bartee got into foul trouble early on and fought to stay on the court playing 32 minutes of the 45 in the game. She shot a perfect 10-of-10 from the field with three points from the charity stripe.

“That’s one of the challenges with her. She’s just long, athletic and quick off the floor…We had a hard time containing her,” said Nixon.