Women’s basketball: Five takeaways from UVU’s loss at Utah

Photo by Brigham Berthold

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Valley University women’s basketball team was beat badly by Utah Saturday night in Salt Lake City. UVU lost by nearly 50 points in the blowout loss. Here are five things to take away from the game.

Defensive Woes

Utah Valley gave up 100 points to the Utes and 44 of them came in the paint. The Wolverines allowed five different Utah players to tally double-digit point totals and had no answer for Utah’s lengthy frontcourt. Junior forward Emily Potter finished two rebounds shy of a double-double with 16 points in just 21 minutes played.

When the Utes weren’t scoring layups down low, they were moving the ball well to beat UVU’s zone defense. UVU switched to a man-defense early in the second half but moved back to a zone setup after a few minutes in the third quarter. Utah drained 12 3-pointers with junior Daneesha Provo leading the way with four made.

Runnin’ Utes

UVU again struggled with turnovers Saturday, losing the ball 21 times compared to Utah’s 13. Those turnovers led to a 38-point swing for the Utes including 26 fast break points. In order to win games, the Wolverines must curb their propensity to turn the ball over. Head coach Cathy Nixon mentioned the Wolverines’ sloppy play as a concern after the game.

“We have some young kids that need to learn that you have to play the game with passion,” Nixon said. “There were lapses in that tonight. Hopefully we can learn to remedy that.”

Go! Fight! UVU!

Despite the wide margin of defeat, UVU continued to play hard until the end. Until the fourth quarter, the Wolverines were not losing the rebound battle. They snagged 17 offensive rebounds for 12 second chance points. Impressive considering the length and athleticism of Utah.  Nixon said she liked her team’s effort, but it need to be more consistent.

“I was proud of some of it, but honestly, I expect our team to be a lot more mentally tough than that,” Nixon said. “It has nothing to do with the score. It has everything to do with us and doing our job individually.”

Getting heated up

UVU’s two leading scorers coming into the game were ice cold for much of the contest, hurting its chances to win. Mariah Seals and Britta Hall combined for just four points in the first half and Hall didn’t see her first and only points of the game until she made a field goal in the final seconds of the third quarter. With Hall and Seals struggling to get anything going offensively, UVU was also unable to get production from down low.

“It was pretty tight in there tonight,” Nixon said. “Their kids are active and long. Although we have Sam Lubcke, who has some experience, she doesn’t have experience at this level. Especially against big, long, athletic kids like Potter.”

A bright spot

Taylor Gordon, a junior from Mount Pleasant, Utah, shined against the Utes, scoring 17 points in 26 minutes. Gordon was 6 of 11 from the field and a perfect 5 of 5 from the free-throw line. Gordon also pulled down five rebounds against the Utes in her best game of the season.

“I thought Taylor was really good tonight,” Nixon said. “She was composed. She was confident and aggressive. She’s the one experienced one we have out there. I was pleased with her poise more than anything. She stayed aggressive on both ends of the floor and really played a complete game.”

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