OREM — Utah Valley jumped ahead with a big run to begin the second half and held off a gutsy Longwood team to grab a 64-59 win Tuesday night in the UCCU Center.
Sammie Jensen notched a double-double as the Wolverines snapped their four-game losing streak.
"I thought we did a good job defensively," said UVU head coach Cathy Nixon. "We had some stretches where we got stops and rebounded the ball well. We did a great job on the boards between Sammie (Jensen) and Kaycee (Mansfield). It wasn't pretty by any means, and sometimes you just have to grind those games out. We got some good shots tonight and we knocked shots down when we needed it."
Possessing a narrow, 27-25 lead at the break, UVU (7-9) steadily pieced together a sustained and methodical run to grab its largest lead over the Lancers (3-16). After Jenna Johnson knocked down a pair of free throws following a Longwood technical foul to make the score 32-29, the Wolverines scored 12 of the game's next 14 points.
Leading 40-31 with 13:15 left, Jenkins stole a Lancer pass and took it herself for an easy deuce on the other end. Then, just seconds later, Taylor Huber intercepted another pass and found Jenkins in transition for another easy layup. The four-point swing put the Wolverines ahead 44-31, their largest lead of the contest, and put momentum firmly into the hands of the home team.
Longwood would battle back, climbing all the way to within two at 58-56 with just 1:24 to play, but UVU would hold firm, getting a three-point play from Jensen at the one-minute mark and two more free throws from Mason 15 seconds later to put the Wolverines up for good.
Jensen finished with her seventh double-double on the year, scoring 17 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. UVU also got nice games from Johnson and Jenkins, who each scored nine, and from Mansfield, who snatched eight boards.
Longwood was led by 15 points from Crystal Smith.
UVU will host its nonconference finale in a week's time when Walla Walla University visits Orem for a 7 p.m. contest next Tuesday in the UCCU Center. The Wolverines open Great West Conference play on the road, traveling to North Dakota on Jan. 21st.
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