SEATTLE — The Utah Valley University women's basketball team stumbled in its final nonconference game of the year, 70-41, at Seattle University on Saturday in the Connolly Center.
Neither team was able to break through offensively for much of the first half as physical defense and turnovers plagued both squads.
UVU (12-12) trailed by just four midway through the half, but 14 turnovers and a poor shooting half allowed Seattle to push the lead to 11, 24-13, by the break.
Talisa Rhea, who finished the first half with two points, scored 15 points in the first seven minutes of the second half and spurred a 9-0 run out of halftime to help Seattle (15-9) pull away.
"Obviously it's disappointing to have that kind of showing," said UVU head coach Cathy Nixon. "I told the kids at halftime that this was a learning opportunity for us. We've been a team that's always responded well, and hopefully we can learn from this and come back strong in conference play next week."
Rhea finished with 19 points, while Kacie Sowell had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Redhawks, who shot 60 percent in a 48-point second half.
Utah Valley returns to Great West Conference play next week at Houston Baptist University and University of Texas-Pan American. The Wolverines are in second place, at 4-2, in the GWC with four games to go. UVU closes out the regular season at home against HBU on Feb. 28 and first-place University of North Dakota on March 3.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.