NEW ORLEANS — Despite a spirited comeback effort late in the game, the Utah Valley University women's basketball team could not overcome a poor shooting night as it fell to the University of New Orleans 55-51 Saturday night.
Senior Sammie Jensen recorded her 16th double-double on the year in the contest, scoring 22 points to go along with 19 rebounds. Alle Cardwell added nine points, four rebounds and four assists, while Kaycee Mansfield chipped in seven points and nine boards.
"We just didn't come out ready to play," UVU head coach Cathy Nixon said. "They were much more aggressive early on than we were and we paid the price having to come from behind so late. The only thing we can do is learn from this game and come out with a new fire on Saturday."
UVU trailed by 11, 42-31, with just over 11 minutes to play, but outscored UNO (3-19) 20-9 over the next eight minutes to tie the score at 51-51. Kicking off the spurt was a 7-0 run — propelled by layup from Mansfield and a tough runner from sophomore Taylor Huber — that cut the deficit to 42-38 at 8:41.
The next two minutes went back-and-forth, with the Lady Privateers pushing their lead to 49-43. What followed was an 8-2 Wolverine run that included a pair of lay-ins from Jensen and another runner from Huber, knotting the score at 51-all with just 2:55 to go.
Unfortunately, that would be the last time UVU would add to its total as it went scoreless over the final few minutes. UNO was held without a field goal during that crucial stretch as well, but went 4-of-6 from the charity stripe to settle the final score.
Leading the Privateers were seniors Keri and Mechel'le Thomas, who scored 15 and 14 points, respectively, on UNO's Senior Night.
The Wolverines were plauged by a poor-shooting night, going just 30 percent from the field and 2-of-13 from beyond the arc. The lid on the basket was enough to offset UVU's advantages on the boards (45 to 39) and on points in the paint (22-14).
UVU completes its first Thursday-Saturday road trip since early December when it visits Texas-Pan American for a Great West Conference matchup. Tipoff Saturday is slated for 3:30 p.m. MT. In a battle of first versus fourth in the standings, the Wolverines will look to complete the season sweep against the Broncs. The first meeting needed overtime to decide the outcome with the Wolverines pulling out a 71-66 win in Orem.
Kellen Hiser is sports information assistant at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.