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Late rally comes up short as UVU women’s hoops loses at Idaho State

By Staff | Dec 6, 2023

Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald

UVU head coach Dan Nielson talks to his team between quarters during the WAC game against Grand Canyon at the UCCU Center in Orem on Thursday, Dec. 29, 2022.

A furious fourth-quarter rally came up short for Utah Valley University in a 54-50 loss at Idaho State University on Wednesday night in Reed Gym in Pocatello, Idaho.

Down 13 after three quarters, the Wolverines (3-5) made a run over the first three minutes of the fourth to get back into the game. Ally Criddle hit a three and, after an ISU free throw, Amanda Barcello and Saige Gibb also hit 3-pointers during a 9-1 run to begin the quarter that got the Wolverines within five, 48-43.

It was 50-43 midway through the fourth the Wolverines scored six straight; Tessa Chaney and Barcello on layups, and two free throws from Kylee Mabry made it 50-49. Barcello scored after securing an offensive rebound with 1:55 left and Mabry’s free throws came with 39 seconds left. The Wolverines had chances but after struggling from the line all night, missed four down the stretch and the Bengals (4-4) made their four attempts in the final 20 seconds to hold on.

“I’m really proud of our effort in the second half but if you take 31 free throws and miss 15 of them, that’s the game,” said UVU head coach Dan Nielson. “I loved the hustle and the fight but at some point, we’ve got to put things together and find some success and consistency.”

Mabry led UVU with 16 points and was 9-for-10 from the line while the team was just 16-for-31 overall. She also had three steals but was in foul trouble throughout the night. Down one with the ball, Mabry was whistled for her fifth foul on a charge call with just 22 seconds left. Barcello finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds for her first career double-double. Idaho State’s Laura Bello led all scorers with 17 points while Kacey Spink pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds.

Both teams suffered through quarter-long droughts without a field goal. Utah Valley went 0-for-10 in the second quarter and Idaho State was 0-for-10 in the fourth. The second quarter proved pivotal with the Bengals making nine of their 14 attempts on their way to a 24-5 quarter that had the Wolverines playing catch up the rest of the night. The Wolverines hit eight 3-pointers in the game with four of those coming in the first quarter. UVU led 16-11 after one before its second-quarter struggles and trailed 35-21 at the half.

UVU limited its turnovers to just nine while turning ISU over 15 times and recording 12 steals with Criddle collecting a career-high six steals. The Wolverines will now return home to host in-state foe Utah State on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. MT in the UCCU Center.


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