Linsey Craig, UVU Athletics
OREM, Utah – A double-double from senior Sammie Jensen wasn't enough as Utah Valley University fell in its season opener 80-63 to Boise State University on Friday night in Orem.
Jensen, the reigning Great West Conference Player of the Year, recorded a team-high 15 points and 14 rebounds in the defeat, while senior Alle Finch Cardwell added 12 and junior Whitney Jenkins chipped in 10.
"We're in the business of winning basketball games and we don't feel like we accomplished what we wanted to," UVU head coach Cathy Nixon said. "Really, I felt like the process was pretty good for us. We played well defensively for the majority of the game but Boise State played better. They shot the ball at a high percentage and we didn't shoot as well as I know we can."
The Wolverines (0-1) got off to a hot start and took an early 9-3 lead after a three-pointer from Jensen just over three minutes in. The Broncos (1-0) immediately responded, however, and used a 12-0 run to take a 21-11 lead midway through the opening half.
Boise State stretched its advantage to 15 a couple minutes later, but a three-point play from senior Kaycee Mansfield helped UVU make it an eight-point game with 5:52 to go until intermission. The Broncos once again took the upper hand toward the end of the half thanks to 14 first-half points on 4-for-7 shooting behind the arc by BSU's Brandi Henton.
Boise State took a 43-28 lead at the break.
UVU looked poised for a second half comeback in the early stages of the final period as it scored 11 of the first 13 points to pull within five at 45-40. Finch Cardwell led the run with three buckets during the stretch.
The Broncos didn't let the Wolverines get any closer than that though as they used another 12-0 run to give them a 57-40 lead.
BSU would stretch its advantage to as many as 21 points with six minutes to play.
Besides the three Wolverines who finished in double figures, Mansfield added eight points and five boards off the bench and senior Cydne Gray dished out a team-high six assists. Finch Cardwell also recorded six rebounds, four assists, three blocks and three steals as the senior filled out the stat sheet in the contest.
Lauren Lenhardt led the Broncos with a double-double of 19 points and 12 boards on 8-of-12 shooting. Henton finished right behind her with 17 points and five made trifectas.
UVU will remain at home and host in-state rival Utah State at the UCCU Center on Monday at 7 p.m. The game will be televised live locally on UVUTV and rebroadcast nationally on Fox College Sports.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com.
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