OREM Utah Valley State center Robyn Fairbanks broke out of what could be called a scoring slump as her 36 points carried UVSC to a 103-83 win over UC Irvine Saturday afternoon.
Calling Fairbanks' early season performances a slump, though, isn't entirely accurate, as she still averaged 16 points and 9.3 rebounds per game in the Wolverines' first games of the season.
But Fairbanks showed that she hasn't lost anything from the last two seasons with 15 rebounds, earning her third double-double of the season.
"They just know how to get the ball in," Fairbanks said.
Two-guard Sandy Marvin helped out by tallying a double-double a different way with 22 points and 10 assists. Marvin was also sneaky on the defensive end with five steals.
As a team, UVSC shot 55.6 percent compared to the Anteaters' even 50 percent mark from the field. The rebounds were the difference as UVSC held a 50-33 advantage on the glass.
Compared to UVSC's first three wins in which it jumped out to huge leads, UC Irvine turned the tables to get out to an early nine-point advantage by downing buckets from the outer fringes.
"Irvine is a good team and some of its strengths are maybe in places where we're a little less experienced at," said UVSC coach Cathy Nixon. "I thought they (UC Irvine) came in and just attacked the basket offensively to hit shots."
But the Wolverines chipped away at the lead by effectively using Fairbanks in the middle. Featured as the main weapon, she opened up the outside for Marvin to either take the shot or reset the offense.
Nixon said that the experience of her team kept any potential panic at bay.
"I felt confident if we could settle into things defensively and get a little more pressure on them on the perimeter, we could gain the momentum back," she said.
Having to come back was a lesson that the team needed to learn, Marvin said, especially with UVSC's game against Seton Hall at home on Wednesday. "Being behind helped us and made us more disciplined because in the future we will play tougher teams," Marvin said.It was Fairbanks' show, though, as she put in 26 points on 12-of-19 shooting from the field in the first half. Her layup in the final seconds of the first half put UVSC up 47-45 at the break.
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