Photo by Julie Ostler
OREM – Idil Turk and Shawnte’ Goff were unstoppable, scoring a combined 34 points as the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley beat UVU 64-45 Saturday afternoon in Lockhart Arena.
Hild Kjartansdottir, the Vaqueros center, chipped in 10 points of her own to go along with 13 rebounds for a double-double performance. Kjartansdottir took advantage of UVU’s depleted frontcourt, dominating down low.
“We’re just in a situation where we got challenged,” head coach Cathy Nixon said. “There’s a lot of things out of our control with injuries, illness, etc.”
UVU (8-20, 3-10) was without centers Sam Lubcke and Leya Harvey for the game as Lubcke deals with a concussion and Harvey an apparent leg injury. It left a void down on the block for the Wolverines as Lubcke leads the WAC in double-doubles and rebounds.
The Vaqueros were held scoreless through the first five minutes of the game and UVU held a 6-2 lead. UTRGV (18-11, 8-5) then went on a 7-0 run prompting a Wolverine timeout to slow the momentum. The teams traded baskets for the remainder of the quarter with the Vaqueros taking a 14-12 advantage.
UTRGV never trailed again.
It got ugly in the second quarter for the Wolverines as they were outscored 20-7 and failed to score for over five minutes at one point. Taylor Gordon, who dealt with foul trouble the entire game, received her third foul with 5:11 left to play in the second quarter, hurting the Wolverines’ ability to keep pace.
“You take Taylor out of the equation,” Nixon said, “that’s a big chunk of our energy, intensity and effectiveness on both ends of the floor. It was definitely a problem.”
The Vaqueros had 33 points off the bench in the contest to UVU’s 13. The Wolverines’ lack of depth has hurt them all season as they have dealt with injuries.
Early in the third quarter, Gordon picked up her fourth foul, sending her to the bench again and straining the already shallow UVU rotation. Rio Grande Valley cruised the rest of the way.
Gordon fouled out with six minutes left in the fourth quarter, finishing the game with just 13 minutes of action. Mariah Seals scored eight points with six rebounds and Jordan Holland had nine points to lead all Wolverine scorers.
UVU will face Seattle March 4 on the road to wrap up the regular season. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. MST.
Ty Bianucci is a life-long fan of the San Francisco Giants, 49ers and Golden State Warriors who started on the sports beat for The Review, but now contributes investigative stories. He, along with two of his colleagues, were awarded the Sunshine Award in 2018 by the Society of Professional Journalists.