Feb. 11, 2012
OREM, Utah -- Utah Valley exacted some revenge for a 27-point Great West Conference loss less than two weeks ago in Chicago as it picked up a 74-61 victory over Chicago State Saturday afternoon in the UCCU Center. The Wolverines got great production from the backcourt as guards Whitney Jenkins, Jenna Johnson, and Alle Finch all finished in double figures, and Sammie Jensen notched her 13th double-double on the year.
"We didn't have our perimeter kids step up on Thursday night [a 48-46 loss to NJIT] and I challenged the guards to make plays today," said UVU head women's basketball coach Cathy Nixon. "I thought Jenna looked really aggressive tonight and Whitney played as well as she's played since she's been here. When we have balanced scoring to complement Sammie's consistent double-doubles we're a pretty good team."
After surrendering a big first-half lead to CSU (5-20, 3-4 GWC) and grinding to a 33-33 tie at halftime, the Wolverines (12-11, 4-2 GWC) scored four consecutive points to open the second frame, but had to sit starting point guard Abbie Beutler after the senior picked up her fourth personal foul just a minute and a half into the period.
A 9-0 Cougar run followed, giving Chicago State its largest lead of the game at 42-37 with 16:17 still to play.
But UVU would battle back, overtaking CSU at 47-44 after Jenkins buried a corner three, and eventually growing the lead to six after another three, this time from Johnson, at the 10:23 mark.
Back-to-back slashing layups from Cydne Mason
and fast break connection from Jenkins to Finch for two highlighted a 10-2 Wolverine run over the next three minutes, as UVU took a 64-50 lead with 7:22 left in the game. All in all, the Wolverines pieced together a huge 27-8 run over a nine-minute span to seize control of the game. Johnson scored 11 of her 13 points during the pivotal stretch, while Jenkins dropped in seven.
Chicago State hung around for the last few minutes, but the outcome was never really in doubt as UVU held on to earn a split in the season series with the Cougars, winning 74-61.
In all, Jenkins led the Wolverines with a season-high 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting and Jensen registered her seventh double-double in eight games with 14 points and a game-high 12 boards. Johnson's 13 were her highest scoring output dropping 21 against San Jose State on Jan. 5, and Finch's 10 points rounded out UVU's double-digit scoring.
Mason put together a solid performance as well, coming in after Beutler got into foul trouble. The junior finished with six points and a game high five assists--four of which came in the second half.
Chicago State was led by 12 points apiece from guards Tierra Williams and Jackie Jones. Janay Dockery, the conference's leading scorer who burned UVU for 26 points in this season's first meeting, was limited to just 11 points on 2-of-12 shooting from the field. The Wolverines also dominated the glass, outrebounding the Cougars 40-25.
UVU steps out of GWC play next week when it travels to the Pacific Northwest for a 5 p.m. MT time tilt Saturday evening at Seattle University. The Redhawks are 14-9 on the season and have won their last two games. The Wolverines will resume league play the following week with a pair of road games at Houston Baptist and Texas-Pan American.