OREM Robyn Fairbanks put Utah Valley State's fortunes on her shoulders as she scored 39 points to lead the way in a 78-73 overtime win over Seton Hall on Wednesday afternoon.
With the victory, the Wolverines (5-0) kept its best-ever start intact in the team's first game against a Big East opponent by fighting back against an opponent that led for most of the game, including 36-24 at halftime.
"When we came out at halftime, we started to assert ourselves," said UVSC coach Cathy Nixon. "Against a good team like this, it's not easy to do what we did."
The Wolverines raced out to a five-point lead in the extra period on Fairbanks' 3-pointer and Sandy Marvin's layup. UVSC closed out the game by sinking all eight of its free-throw attempts in overtime.
Julie McMurray's double-double helped out UVSC as she scored 12 points and added 10 rebounds.
"The real turning point was after the first half in which we had to come out hard because we were down 12," McMurray said.
When it looked like the game was lost, Fairbanks responded by scoring nine straight points including a layup that tied the game at 65-all with 45 seconds left. It culminated 25 minutes of hard work trying to get back into the game after Seton Hall responded to UVSC comeback attempts with runs of its own.
"We just needed to calm down, so I was trying to calm us," Fairbanks said.
Seton Hall's Ebonie Williams hit a jumper and then completed a four-point play in scoring six straight points to put the Pirates up 57-48 with 9:20 left. It came after Fairbanks cut Seton Hall's lead to three after hitting her second 3-pointer of the game.
UVSC started the second half on a roll, cutting Seton Hall's lead to 39-36 with a 12-3 run.
Answering, Seton Hall went on a 8-2 run to give it a nine-point lead.
The Pirates took the lead midway through the first half, using 12-0 and 9-0 runs to cut through UVSC's defense.