UVU women's basketball vs. Grand Canyon 7

UVU head coach Dan Nielson directs his team during the game against Grand Canyon at the UCCU Center in Orem on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Utah Valley University attempted to rally late but were held off in a 62-53 decision at California Baptist on Saturday in the CBU Event Center. The Lancers (10-0, 2-0) stayed perfect on the season and swept the WAC-opening weekend series between the teams.

Josie Williams and Maria Carvalho both scored a game-high 14 to lead the Wolverines (2-3, 0-3) while Nehaa Sohail finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds, two blocks and three steals. Ane Olaeta and Sydney Palma had 12 apiece for CBU and Britney Thomas scored 11. Olaeta also had seven rebounds and six assists.

“Our effort, especially on the defensive end, was much better today and I thought we got some good looks offensively,” said UVU head coach Dan Nielson. “We have a lot to clean up and we’re not happy with the result, but we did see some positives to build on for next week.”

After Madison Grange began the game with a 3-pointer for the Wolverines, the Lancers hit their first three attempts from beyond the arc to jump in front 9-3. UVU stayed within striking distance, thanks in part to forcing seven first-quarter CBU turnovers and got back within two after one, 16-14.

Williams tied the game at 18-18 after a putback early in the second quarter, but that was answered right back by Thomas. Shay Fano scored for the Wolverines with 3:38 left in the half to get it back to a two-point game, 30-28, before the Lancers ended the half on a 9-1 run to take a 39-29 lead at the break.

Utah Valley got within six multiple times in the third quarter, but trailed by eight, 49-41, after three. Both teams struggled to find the bottom of the net in the quarter, with UVU outscoring CBU 10-8.

Sohail hit a three and Williams scored down low to make it 53-46 in the fourth before both offenses stalled. CBU missed eight straight attempts but the Wolverines were also mired in their own scoring drought. Out of a timeout, Thomas scored consecutive buckets to push it to 57-46, and later got two from the line to help California Baptist to its biggest lead of the game.

Utah Valley responded with a quick 7-0 spurt on a Carvalho three, a Sohail steal that led to a Grange layup, and a Williams layup to make it 59-53 with 1:30 left, but could get no closer.

The Wolverines had a 39-36 edge on the glass and turned 12 offensive rebounds into 14 second chance points. UVU was 20-for-58 (34.5%) from the field while CBU made 21-of-51 (41.2%).

Utah Valley opens the home WAC schedule next week against Seattle University. The teams will play on Friday and Saturday at 5:30 p.m. in the UCCU Center.

Follow Darnell Dickson on Twitter @darnellwrites or e-mail him at ddickson@heraldextra.com.

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