Women’s basketball: UVU defeats Antelope Valley

Women's basketball played against in-state rival Weber State at the UCCU center Tuesday November 15, 2016.

Photo by Mykah Heaton

OREM—Have a day, Taylor Gordon. The UVU women’s basketball team beat the University of Antelope Valley 87-47 Thursday in the UCCU Center. Gordon led all Wolverine scorers with 23 points in the first all-time meeting between the schools.

Gordon, a junior from Mount Pleasant, Utah, was a spark for the Wolverines in each aspect of the game, flirting with a triple-double en route to the victory. She grabbed 11 boards against the Pioneers, helping sustain her mark at second in the Western Athletic Conference for total rebounds among guards. Gordon’s season total of rebounds now tallies 80.

“I thought we played really well as a team,” Gordon said. “It was one of our few games that we played as a team all together. People were getting open and getting me open. I got to the line a few more times than usual. I try and focus on the defensive end getting steals and stops.”

Gordon ranks sixth in the nation in steals with 46 after her additional four Thursday, which is good enough for first in the WAC. Mariah Seals, who lead the WAC in assists with 64 coming into the game, added another seven to facilitate offensive production against the Pioneers. Seals had a slow start to the game, scoring just four points in the first half but regrouped at halftime to score 19 points in the contest.

“I wasn’t shooting as well as I wanted to in the first half,” Seals said. “I knew that I wanted to keep being aggressive because when I’m aggressive then I open up a lot of things for other people. I was taking better shots in the second half and just looking for my teammates.”

In a game in which sophomore guard Britta Hall did not play with an apparent hand injury, Gordon and Seals stepped up to fill the void of Hall’s 9.9 points per game average.

“Mariah and Taylor have been the core for this team,” head coach Cathy Nixon said. “They have become the pillars to lean on.”

UVU, which trailed for much of the first nine minutes of the game, took the lead in the closing seconds of the first quarter and stretched its margin the remainder of the game, ultimately winning by 40 points. UVU regained the lead in part to a career night from freshman Leya Harvey who scored 12 points and came down with seven rebounds, five of those boards coming in the first quarter.

“We had [Harvey] starting tonight,” Nixon said. “She started to figure the game out a little bit. She’s such a big strong kid with such good skills in terms of her good hands and quickness and strength. I think she’s going to emerge as a really good basketball player.”

UVU will next play Dixie State University in Lockhart Arena on Friday with tipoff set for 3 p.m. MST.

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