OREM, Utah — The last time that the UVU and UMKC women’s basketball teams met, India Johnson hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the ‘Roos a 66-63 win over the Wolverines.
Fast forward about three weeks. Freshman center Sam Lubcke recorded a double double, Taylor Gordon led all scorers with 15 points and the UVU women made sure the rematch didn’t come down to a last second shot, cruising to a 58-39 win on Thursday night in the Lockhart Arena.
“Particular things that we have been focusing on is the defensive end,” UVU head coach Cathy Nixon said. “To hold them to 39 points, that met our goal. And then, we’ve been focusing on rebounding. They did have a few more offensive rebounds than we would have hoped but we out-rebounded them by nine so those are real keys for us.”
In a game that started off slowly as evidenced by the first quarter score of 10-7, the game really picked up in the second quarter, especially for the Wolverines. Trailing 13-12 at the 7:10 mark of the second quarter, UVU went on a 15-2 run to end the period. During the run, UVU forced five turnovers and had multiple players score. Leya Harvey put the icing on the cake with a layup right at the end of the half and UVU led 27-15 at halftime.
For UVU in the second half, it was the Taylor and Lubcke show. The duo combined to score 21 of the Wolverines 31 points and combined for nine of the 21 rebounds in the half. Taylor scored in a variety of ways and 2-of-2 from beyond the 3-point line. Lubcke did her damage in the paint and also from the free throw line where she was 4-of-5 on in the second half.
“I thought Sam, she got in foul trouble early in the first half, but I thought she gathered herself mentally and then was able to continue to be aggressive,” Nixon said. “She’s leading the league in rebounding and we depend on that.”
Although she didn’t score in bunches tonight, guard Mariah Seals finished with game six points, six assists and eight rebounds. Considering that Seals is 5-feet-3-inches tall and one of the smallest players on the court, her coach was nonetheless very pleased with her effort.
“Mariah had eight rebounds,” Nixon said. We’ve encouraged her to be a little bit more of a presence rebounding the ball…it makes me feel really good. She might be small but she’s got a big heart.”
For the Wolverines, the win over UMKC was a little bit of redemption from the January 14 matchup.
“I think we all were still stinging a little bit from that one coming into this game today,” UVU head coach Cathy Nixon said. “And we played pretty well but when you come away without a win you come away feeling hungry. So, happy to get a win tonight and hopefully we can be ready for Saturday.”
UVU improves to 7–16 overall and 2-6 in WAC competition. The Wolverines host Chicago State on Saturday night in Lockhart Arena, with tipoff scheduled for 7 p.m. MT.
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