Dec. 10, 2011
OREM, Utah --Angel Dorn hit the go-ahead free throw with just 0.3 seconds remaining as Southern Utah pulled out a 60-59 victory over Utah Valley on Saturday afternoon in the UCCU Center. The free throw capped a bizarre closing minute during which the Wolverines (4-4) surrendered a four point lead to the opportunistic Thunderbirds (3-6).
"The game of basketball is about things you can control and about things you can't control," said UVU head women's basketball coach Cathy Nixon. "We just didn't do the things we needed to do to be successful. We had turnovers and missed free throws that cost us the game."
After Cydne Mason made two free throws to put UVU ahead four points with 1:08 to play, the Wolverines appeared in control of the outcome. But SUU's Hailey Mandelko erased the deficit in just one possession, nailing a deep three while being fouled. The freshman then calmly stepped to the line and converted the free throw to complete the four-point play and tie the game at 59 with 50 seconds remaining.
UVU failed to get a shot off in the subsequent possession, turning the ball over with 27 seconds to play. The Thunderbirds attempted to hold the ball for the last shot, only to have Dorn's desperation three from the wing sail out of bounds with just 1.6 seconds on the clock.
Looking for one last shot to win in regulation, the Wolverines tried to heave a pass from the SUU baseline into the forecourt, but the throw drifted out of bounds over the sideline without being touched, returning possession to the T-Birds beneath their own basket.
SUU's first in-bounds attempt was tipped back out of bounds by a Wolverine, giving the visitors another shot with 0.7 remaining. This time, the ball was inbounded to a cutting Dorn whose contested shot was whistled as a foul with just 0.3 seconds left. Dorn then stepped to the line and hit her first free throw to seal the victory for the Thunderbirds.
One bright spot for Utah Valley was its production off the bench, particularly from Mason and sophomore guard Whitney Jenkins
. Mason scored a career-high 13 points for the Wolverines on 4-of-5 shooting and Jenkins dropped in a game-high 14.
"The kids off the bench did a great job," said Nixon. "We have to have balance and depth at multiple positions and it's one of our strengths that we have kids who can come in on any given night."
Sammie Jensen recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
UVU will have a week to prepare for its next game, a home contest against Big Sky member Northern Arizona. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. next Saturday, Dec. 17, in the UCCU Center. The Wolverines will then host South Dakota the following Monday.