Women’s basketball: UVU drops conference opener to Grand Canyon

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

OREM— In a low-scoring game at the UCCU center, the UVU women’s basketball team lost their Western Athletic Conference opener to Grand Canyon University by the score of 62-46. Jessica Gajewski led the Lopes with 22 points while Marina Laramie added 12 points and nine rebounds. Taylor Gordon had 21 for the Wolverines.

Despite jumping out to a 13-9 lead at the end of the first quarter, UVU was outscored by GCU 23-4 in the second quarter which included a 19-0 GCU run. After shooting 6-of-11 in the first quarter, UVU shot just 1-of-8 in the second quarter with 10 turnovers. The GCU press forced UVU to frequently spend half of their offensive possessions getting the ball up court to set up their offense, keeping UVU out of rhythm. GCU took advantage with 19 points off the turnovers.

“I thought we had two different spans where we got mentally derailed. The game got a little bit physical, they called some offensive fouls on us and I thought we got sidetracked with that. The second half I thought it was fatigue that sidetracked us,” UVU Head Coach Cathy Nixon said.

The Wolverines came out strong in the third quarter, outscoring the Lopes 14-8. Solid shooting nights from Taylor Gordon and Sam Lubcke helped cut the lead to seven points late in the third quarter. However, UVU could not get the game any closer during the final quarter.

“I’m really proud of their effort tonight,” Nixon said. “I thought in terms of effort we were sharp, we had some really good possessions and stretches defensively and offensively.”

Due to injuries and sickness affecting the team, UVU only played six players, three of them being freshman. Nixon said although the rotation of the team was limited, the team was prepared for the situation and will improve going forward.

“I feel like they’ve improved a lot and they’re making contributions. Their upside is really optimistic,” Nixon said regarding the freshman getting increasingly more minutes on the court.

With the loss UVU drops to 5-11 on the season and 0-1 in conference play. The Wolverines will look to bounce back on the road next week with games at Chicago State and Missouri-Kansas City.

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