SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Utah Valley University senior Sammie Jensen had 18 points and 18 rebounds but it wasn't enough as the Wolverines concluded their three-game Northern California road trip with a 74-62 loss at Sacramento State on Tuesday night.
The double-double was Jensen's, the current Great West Conference Player of the Week, fifth in as many games this season.
"It's disappointing. We felt like that if we played well we had a chance at this one," UVU head coach Cathy Nixon said. "We've been plagued with a turnover problem lately. Every team and every season is a journey and this is a step in that process. Our goal is to learn from these games and get better."
UVU (1-4) got off to a solid start and held the Hornets (2-2) to just six points in the first 10 minutes as the Wolverines jumped out to an early 15-6 lead. With Utah Valley later leading 17-9, Sac State's Fantasia Hilliard scored seven straight points to make it a one-point game at 17-16.
The first half stayed close the rest of the way as no team led by more than a couple of points. The Hornets took a four-point lead into the locker room as Kylie Kuhns scored a put-back layup at the buzzer to give Sac State a 30-26 lead at the break.
Despite trailing at the half, UVU outshot Sacramento State 34 percent (12-35) to 28 percent (13-47). Senior Kaycee Mansfield led the Wolverines in the first period with eight points, while Jensen had six points and 10 boards.
The Wolverines took a 42-40 lead eight minutes into the second half after a 7-0 run that was capped by a 3-pointer from senior Alle Finch Cardwell.
With UVU later leading 47-45 with 9:30 to play, Sac State's leading scorer Alle Moreno got hot and scored the next 10 points for the Hornets. Moreno hit back-to-back trifectas during the spurt, a layup and two free-throws. Her 10-point run turned a two-point UVU lead into a six-point Hornet advantage (55-49).
Sacramento State stayed hot down the stretch and extended its lead to 15 following a free throw from Springville High School grad Sadie Clements with 2:06 to play.
The Wolverines kept competing until the end as they pulled to within 10 with 39 seconds to play, but they ran out of time as the Hornets took the contest by 12.
Behind Jensen's double-double, senior Cydne Gray scored a season-high 10 points and Mansfield finished with eight points and nine rebounds. Finch Cardwell, sophomore Taylor Huber and Jenkins all also added eight points apiece for UVU.
Moreno and her game-high 24 points led Sac State. Kuhns chipped in a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds and also became the Hornets' all-time leading rebounder during the game.
The lead changed hands nine times during the contest.
The Wolverines will now return home to face their fourth consecutive team from the state of California when Long Beach State comes to the UCCU Center on Black Friday for a 3 p.m. start.
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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