Photo by Brigham Berthold
OREM—The UVU women’s basketball team lost to Grand Canyon University 62-46 Saturday night in the UCCU Center. The contest marked the opening of conference play for both teams. Here are five takeaways from the game.
Silver lining to every dark cloud
Injuries have impacted the already young and inexperienced UVU squad this season. Guards Britta Hall and Kendall Perry have missed the last several games and against Grand Canyon several players were sick, some unable to play. UVU’s rotation has been altered, forcing freshmen Gabrielle Leos and Keana Delos Santos into more prominent roles. The playing time has given the young players experience in big games, a positive for the Wolverines moving forward.
Not a hard L
GCU is a good basketball team that displays a lot of athleticism on both ends of the floor. The Antelopes’ five losses have come at the hands of Duke, Rice, UC Riverside, Washington and Hawaii—good teams that show GCU is better than its record says. UVU’s rotation of just six players in a game this late in the season would have any team gassed by the end. Still, UVU kept the game close, outscoring the Antelopes 14-8 in the third quarter. That is an optimistic signal looking forward to the rest of conference play.
UVU has had a difficult time advancing the ball across half court when facing the full-court press all season. Against GCU, it was especially difficult for UVU to begin an offensive set with more than 15 seconds on the shot clock. Consistently working with less time throughout the game was a huge disadvantage for the Wolverines. For some perspective, UVU took 43 shots in the game compared to GCU’s 64. Typically, it is hard to win games when taking more than 20 less shots than the opponent.
After the first quarter of action, UVU led 13-9. The second quarter was a nightmare for the Wolverines as they shot 1-for-8 from the field and did not score until 1:12 was all that remained in the quarter. In that span, GCU scored 23 points, taking a commanding lead into intermission. In the third quarter UVU went another 4:43 without points, again hurting their comeback attempt. More consistency on the offensive end will change losses to wins for the Wolverines.
In the first half, UVU committed 15 turnovers that, in turn, led to 17 points for the Antelopes. UVU largely limited those turnovers in the second half, only losing the ball five more times. It showed, as GCU only scored two points off of those five and UVU was able to keep the game close. Against good teams like GCU, the Wolverines cannot give the ball away like in the first half and expect to win games.
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.