Utah Valley University surrendered an 18-point, first-half lead at Weber State on Saturday, ultimately falling to the Wildcats, 79-64, at the Dee Events Center. It was UVU's first loss to Weber State since the 2009-10 season - three meetings ago.
"We played very well in segments today, but it got away from us," head coach Cathy Nixon said. "We turned it over too much and they got too many offensive rebounds. They took 18 more shots than we did and it's tough to beat a team when you let that happen."
Tina Doughty led the Wolverines (1-8) with 27 points in her first 20-point outing since the season opener against Nevada on Nov. 8. Joining Doughty in double figure scoring were Katie Kuklok with 12, and Sam Loggins with 11. Each of Kuklok's dozen points came virtue of the 3-point shot, while Loggins also pulled down a team-high seven rebounds in the contest.
Meanwhile, Desiree Ramos of Weber State (4-3) scored a game and season-high 32 points on 12-of-17 shooting. The guard, who had hit only three 3-pointers through six games entering the contest, canned five to lead her team to the win. Amanda Hughes recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds on Saturday.
After shooting 52.0 percent from the field in the first half, Utah Valley could muster only a 32.0 percent mark in the second. That figure came in stark contrast to the lights-out shooting performance the Wolverines had sustained early in the game.
Over the first 11:30 of play, UVU went 12-of-16 from the field including a 6-of-8 clip from beyond the arc. Both of those figures equate to 75.0 percent shooting, an otherworldly figure that helped the Wolverines out to its largest lead of the game at 32-14. The 18-point advantage came on the heels of a 26-8 rally that also saw runs of 10-0 and 11-3.
But just when it seemed everything was going the way of the Wolverines, favor and momentum promptly relocated themselves to the home team. UVU would score only three more points over the final 8:30 of the first half as WSU pieced together an 18-3 rally over the final minutes.
The Wolverines went just 1-for-8 from the field and gave away eight of their 23 turnovers for the game in that span. Meanwhile, the Wildcats hit 8-of-12 shots to pull within three, 35-32, at halftime.
The WSU momentum carried over into the second half where the Wildcats needed just two possessions to recapture the lead at 36-35. A layup from Doughty with 17:36 still to play brought the Wolverines back in front at 37-36, but a Brianna Averette jumper on the other end for WSU put the home ahead and it wouldn't look back. The Wildcats led the rest of the way as they improved to 4-0 at home this season.
Utah Valley won't have long before it can take its next stab at snapping the recent losing streak. The Wolverines wrap up its three-game road swing with a trip to Salt Lake City on Wednesday when they will meet Utah at the Huntsman Center. It will be the first meeting between the two schools since the 2010-11 season.
Kellen Hiser is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.