Photo by Mykah Heaton
OREM, Utah – The Utah Valley University women’s basketball team lost a heartbreaker to Weber State 64-61 Wednesday. The Wolverines jumped out to an 8-2 lead early in the first quarter and held a nine-point lead midway through the third quarter, but could not hold on and ultimately lost to a determined Wildcats squad.
“For three quarters we beat them,” head coach Cathy Nixon said. “In the fourth quarter, honestly, I thought that we weren’t tough. They beat us to loose balls, they beat us to rebounds and that’s what as a young team we’re going to focus on and take from this game.”
Weber State’s Deeshyra Thomas began the game red hot with 10 of the Wildcats’ 15 first-quarter points. Despite being held to just two points in the second quarter, the senior guard finished the game with 30 points on 14-of-21 shooting from the field with four rebounds.
The Wolverines lost even with strong performances from juniors Taylor Gordon and Sam Lubcke, who finished with 14 and 11 points, respectively. Lubcke, a transfer out of Murray Bridge, Australia was impeded by foul trouble throughout the game. She sat on the bench for over four minutes in the fourth quarter and underclassmen played in her place after picking up her third personal foul 30 seconds into the second half and playing much of the fourth quarter with four fouls.
“I thought they stepped up pretty well,” Nixon said. “We had combinations of at least four freshmen in there. We’re such a young team, it’s a great opportunity for us to learn. I thought some kids stepped up tonight and some other ones that need to learn to step up a little bit more.”
UVU gave up the lead for the final time with 2:20 left in the fourth quarter when Wildcats’ sophomore Emily Drake knocked down a 3-pointer to give Weber State a two-point advantage. UVU failed to regain the lead despite two possessions coming out of a timeout under 30 seconds. Both times UVU kept the ball in the hands of its best shooter, sophomore Britta Hall, down by two points with a chance to win the game with a 3-pointer, but it was unsuccessful.
“It’s a journey for us and with BYU’s and Weber State’s success last year in the NCAA tournament and the postseason, we’ve played good teams and we’ve shown that we can hang with them,” Nixon said.
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.