LAS VEGAS—After they defeated the Missouri-Kansas City Kangaroos on Wednesday, the Utah Valley University women’s basketball team played against the No. 1 seeded New Mexico State Aggies. NM State went 24-4 on the season and 11-1 in the WAC this year, but UVU played them hard their last two encounters. NM State came to play today and won the game 58-44.
In the first quarter UVU looked scared to shoot and took only seven shots to NM State’s 17. UVU favored the pass over the shot and it resulted in disaster as NM State’s speed and aggression to attack the ball forced nine turnovers in the first quarter. The first quarter ended with an NM State lead by a score of 12-2.
Shots rained in the second half for UVU, as they nearly doubled their shot output from the first half, ultimately outscoring NM State 17-11 in the fourth quarter.
“The girls just decided to be aggressive,” UVU coach Cathy Nixon said. “You can’t take anything away from them, they are a very talented team. I’m not sure we got a shot off in our first nine to ten possessions.”
Scoring was sparked by senior Patrice Toston, who earned a starting position midseason. Toston scored UVU’s first six points and was the top scorer of the afternoon. She ended the game with 19 points, with all but two of her shots landing in the basket.
“I wanted to play hard, like every game. I knew that this game might be our last game, so [I wanted to] try a little bit harder,” Toston said.
Fellow senior Sam Loggins contributed 13 points, and the pair accounted for 32 of UVU’s 44 points. Coach Nixon had high praise for her seniors after the game.
“I sure am proud to be [here] with these seniors, I don’t think any two players have improved more this season than these two,” Nixon said.
While the season ends in the tournament, it’s important to remember everything UVU did accomplish this year.
“Every season is a journey, not one game and I’m really proud of the girls and what they accomplished this year,” Nixon said. “They took our program to places we’ve never been this year. We won a WAC Tournament game, we had 16 wins and I’m really proud.”
My name is Adam Cichoski, I’m a junior at UVU studying Journalism. Sports is my passion, especially football. I’m originally from Las Vegas, Nevada. My plan after school is to pursue a job in sports journalism.