UVU basketball: Wolverines drop road WAC contest to Grand Canyon
Utah Valley University fell to Grand Canyon University, 88-51, in Western Athletic Conference action Saturday afternoon at GCU Arena. The Wolverines suffered their seventh consecutive road defeat of the season.
Rhaiah Spooner-Knight was the only player on the UVU (3-12, 0-2) roster to post a double-digit scoring day. The true freshman scored 10 points to reach four consecutive games with double figure scoring.
Meanwhile, GCU (13-4, 2-2 WAC) saw six players eclipse the 10-point plateau. Senior Jenna Pearson led the way with 17 points followed by Erica Paskell's 12. Three Antelopes tallied 11 points, including Kaitlyn Petersen's double-double effort of 11 points and 12 assists. Madison Craig rounded out Grand Canyon's double figure scorers with 10 points in 11 minutes of action.
"They outplayed us in every facet," UVU head coach Cathy Nixon said. "They executed so well on the offensive end and took us out of rhythm on the defensive end. When you come on the road you've got to be ready to go from the jump. Hopefully we learn a few things but you've got to hand it to Grand Canyon. They played a great game."
Utah Valley never led in the game, falling behind 12-2 early when GCU connected on six of its first seven shots with two Pearson 3-pointers. The hot start carried throughout the game as the `Lopes ultimately shot 52 percent from the field with a 50 percent mark from beyond the arc (14-of-28).
Behind Spooner-Knight's 10-point effort came a new season-high for true freshman forward Makaily Worthington. A native of Queen Creek, Ariz., Worthington scored nine points and went 5-of-7 from the free-throw line.
"Makaily hasn't been getting a lot of minutes but for her to be ready to go and for her to have the game that she did is really a testament to her effort in practice," Nixon said. "She brings a great energy and effort every day and I'm happy she was able to play well here in front of her family."
Katie Kuklok scored seven points on the afternoon, while Whitney Jenkins and Sam Loggins each finished with six. Ashley Klemz scored five points and hit one of just two made UVU 3-pointers as the Wolverines shot only 2-of-15 from distance.
With the win, Grand Canyon pulls level in the all-time series. UVU won the first meeting back in 2006 when the `Lopes were competing at the Division II level.
Utah Valley returns home to host a pair of WAC fixtures next week. Idaho visits the UCCU Center on Thursday night at 7 p.m. before Seattle U rolls into town the following Saturday for a 3 p.m. tilt at the PE Building.
Kellen Hiser is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.