Dec. 8, 2012
POCATELLO, Idaho - Senior Sammie Jensen became just the fifth Utah Valley University women's basketball player to surpass 1,000 career points at the Division I level Saturday at Idaho State University but the Bengals (4-3) held on to defeat to defeat the Wolverines (2-9) by two, 69-67, at Reed Gym.
ISU's Abyee Maracigan missed three free throws in the closing seconds to give UVU a chance as it trailed by just two with 3.9 seconds to go. But out of timeouts, the Wolverines couldn't manage to get a final shot off before the buzzer sounded as they fell on the road to Idaho State.
"I'm really proud of how the kids battled. This was our third game in the past five days and the kids put themselves in a position to be able to win it against a very good team," said UVU head coach Cathy Nixon. "We fought back from a couple of large deficits as the girls really competed for the whole game. We're getting better and I think we're going to breakthrough with some wins here soon."
The Bengals used an 11-0 run early in the game to jump out to an 18-6 lead just seven minutes in. UVU sophomore Tina Doughty and senior Alle Finch Cardwell helped UVU answer back by each drilling 3-pointers to spark a 10-4 Wolverine run and cut the deficit to 22-16 with 10 minutes to go in the first half.
With the Wolverines trailing 31-20 later in the half, UVU sophomore Ashley Klemz came off the bench and scored six straight points herself with back-to-back 3-pointers to cut it to five, 33-28, with 3:14 to go until the break.
Klemz continued her stellar play by driving the lane for a layup with a minute to go until the half, which pulled the Wolverines to within two at 33-31. The Bengals managed to score a late bucket to take a four-point lead into the break.
Klemz led UVU with eight points in the first period on 4-of-5 shooting from the field and 2-of-2 from 3-point land in just six minutes of play. Jensen was second with five, just two points shy of 1,000. As a team, the Wolverines shot a red-hot 5-of-7 from behind the arc.
Junior Whitney Jenkins buried a 3-pointer to open the second half and pull the Wolverines to within one, at 35-34. ISU's Lindsey Reed answered with a 3-ball for the Bengals but Jensen followed with a tip-in to notch 1,000 career points in just her third season at UVU. The basket by Jensen pulled the Wolverines to within two at 38-36.
A Finch Cardwell jumper kept UVU within two points with 13:46 to play, but an 8-0 ISU run helped the Bengals pull ahead up 48-38. A 3-point play the old fashioned way by Jensen stopped the Bengal rally momentarily but ISU would score the next seven points to take a 55-41 lead with 8:30 to go.
Trailing by 12 with just under four minutes to play, Jensen converted another 3-point play followed by a Finch Cardwell trifecta and a layup by senior Cydne Gray to pull the Wolverines to within four, 64-60, with two minutes left. Two free throws by ISU's Abyee Maracigan stopped the 8-0 Wolverine run and gave the Bengals a six-point advantage with 1:45 to play.
Late in the game, Doughty drove for a layup with 23 seconds left to cut the score back to four at 68-64. Maracigan then made one of two free throws to give ISU a five-point advantage but another 3-pointer by Klemz pulled UVU to within two with eight seconds remaining. Maracigan missed two more free throws to give the Wolverines a chance with 3.9 seconds remaining but UVU, who had to go the full length of the court, couldn't manage to get a shot off before time expired to give ISU the 69-67 win.
Jensen led UVU with 16 points in the game, while Klemz added a career-high 11 and Finch Cardwell had 10 and career-best five steals. Senior Kaycee Mansfield led the Wolverines on the glass with eight rebounds. Vella led ISU with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds.
The Wolverines shot a hot 10-of-16 from 3-point land in the game for 63-percent, while ISU went just 6-of-20 from distance for 30-percent. UVU missed seven free throws however as it went just 9-of-16 from the charity stripe.
The five players who have scored more than 1,000 career points during the Div. I era at UVU are three-time All-American Robyn Fairbanks 2,507 (2005-2009), Julie McMurray Smith 1,641 (2006-2010), Sandy Marvin Wall 1,460 (2005-2009), Jenna Johnson 1,033 (2008-2012) and Jensen 1,009 (2010-current). Jensen is also second in the UVU record books in rebounding with 749, as she trails just Fairbanks and her 1,048 career boards.
"What a special thing for Sammie to do in just her third year here," added Nixon when asked about Jensen scoring 1,000 career points. "She produces every game for us. It's really a pleasure to coach her and have her on your team. She's the heart and soul of what we do and I'm really proud of her for accomplishing that feat."
After three games in five days this week, UVU will play just once next week. The Wolverines will travel to Flagstaff, Ariz., to face their fourth consecutive Big Sky Conference opponent in Northern Arizona next Saturday, Dec. 15 at 2 p.m. UVU will then close out its pre-Christmas schedule by hosting Carroll College on Dec. 19 and playing at Colorado of the Pac-12 Conference on Dec. 22.