Kyle Bruderer, Sports Writer, @brudkyle
Three different players nearly reached the 20-point plateau on Saturday as the Utah Valley University women’s basketball team defeated the Cougars of Chicago State 68-53. Sam Loggins and Mariah Seals each scored 19 points and Rebecca MaWhinney finished with 18. MaWhinney and Seals combined for 30 points from three-point range alone, shooting 10-of-17 from deep.
“It was really good to see those two shoot the ball like that and I thought that Sam made some of her most decisive, aggressive moves of the season. We need that going forward in order to be successful,” head coach Cathy Nixon said. “We had a good collective effort on both ends of the floor. It’s good to see the progress we’ve made in the last month.”
The first points of the game came as a result of a steal and transition lay-up from Seals. UVU then went on a six minute scoring drought as the Cougars took a 7-2 lead, but back to back three point buckets from Seals and MaWhinney gave them the lead once more. The Cougars played in a zone defensively, so the Wolverines moved the ball around the perimeter until Loggins could get the ball. As Chicago State began to double and triple team Loggins, MaWhinney was able to take eight quality looks from three in the first half connecting on five of them.
“That’s the result of good team basketball. The assists are great and I think that’s an indication that we’re improving as we get ready for the WAC tournament,” said Nixon.
In the second period Loggins was virtually perfect offensively making all five of her shot attempts and all three free-throws scoring 13 of her 19 points. The Cougars were led by Layne Murphy’s 21 points and seven rebounds, Konner Harris also chipped in 15 points. Despite shooting 47 percent from the floor, Chicago State was unable to find an answer for UVU’s solid team performance.
The Wolverines will finish the regular season March 7 at Bakersfield. The WAC Tournament will begin on March 11 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.