WBB at SUU Thursday for in-state clash

WOLVERINEGREENDOTCOM Redshirt freshman guard Georgia Agnew
Redshirt freshman guard Georgia Agnew

Nov. 20, 2013

INFO: Utah Valley at Southern Utah | Thurs., Nov. 21 - 7 pm | Centrum Arena - Cedar City, Utah

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OREM, Utah -- Utah Valley University will look to bounce back from a pair of road losses last week when it travels to Southern Utah for a 7 p.m. tip Thursday night. The game is the 15th installment all-time between the Wolverines and Thunderbirds and is the second straight played at SUU's Centrum Arena.

Making its first excursion away from home last week, UVU (1-3) suffered a pair of losses during a two-game tour of Virginia in which it faced George Mason and Longwood University. Thursday's meeting with Mason saw the homestanding Patriots enjoy 50 percent shooting in the first half as it eventually pulled away for an 82-64 victory.

The Last Meeting
Utah Valley49
Southern Utah66
December 29, 2012
Cedar City, Utah
UVU Women Drop In-State Game at SUU
Despite a game-high 14 points and 14 rebounds from senior Sammie Jensen, the Utah Valley University women's basketball team dropped its final in-state game of the season, 66-49, to Southern Utah University Saturday night in Cedar City.

A bright spot in the loss shone in the stellar play of redshirt freshman Karlee Kartchner. The forward recorded her first career double-double behind a season-best 19 points and 14 rebounds. She actually went into the halftime locker room with the feat already completed, having scored 10 points and grabbed 10 boards over the first 20 minutes.

Kartchner's second double-double came just two days later as she posted 10 points and 11 rebounds in Saturday's contest at Longwood. A hard-fought battle that came down the game's final possessions, the Wolverines found themselves on the wrong end of a 59-57 final score. Trailing by one with sixteen seconds to play, UVU came up empty on its ensuing possession and was ultimately forced into a desperation heave from guard Tina Doughty when the Lancers went 1-of-2 from the foul line at the other end.

Katie Kuklok was huge for the Wolverines on Saturday, scoring 28 points -- almost half the UVU total -- on 7-of-10 shooting to go along with 11 rebounds. The sophomore transfer did the bulk of her rebounding work on the offensive end, pulling in seven caroms to help the Wolverines to 16 second-chance points. She also went a perfect 10-of-10 from the foul line during her game-high 39 minutes of play.



Kuklok continues to lead the team in scoring at 21.5 points per game while Doughty is also averaging figures at 14.5 ppg. Kartchner grabbed the team lead in rebounding after her big weekend, pushing that rate to 8.0 rpg to nearly match her 9.5 ppg. Freshman guard Georgia Agnew currently leads the WAC in assists at 5.1 a game.

Meanwhile, SUU (2-1) will be coming home for the first time this season when Utah Valley rolls into Cedar City on Thursday night. Beginning the season on a three-game road swing, the Thunderbirds grabbed wins at Boise State and Texas A&M Corpus Christi before falling at Houston Baptist on Saturday. SUU has shot better than 45 percent from the field in all three contests and saw seven players reach double figure scoring in the opening 90-86 win over BSU.

Four players average 10 points or better for the Thunderbirds, led by sophomore forward Lori Parkinson's 15.0 ppg. Another forward, senior Carli Moreland, is next at 13.0 ppg while guards Desiree Jackson and Andrea Jones average 11.0 and 10.0 ppg, respectively. Moreland is the top rebounder at 8.7 per contest and is followed closely by Parkinson's 7.3.

"They are a very diverse team offensively with a lot of quickness on the guard line and athletic play inside," said UVU head coach Cathy Nixon of Thursday's opponent. "They do a good job of getting the ball into the post and we need to try to take away some of their strengths there. I think we match up relatively well against them and hopefully we can go in and be competitive because we know it's always a hard-fought game when we play SUU. We've had some great games in the past and they are a program I have a lot of respect for."

Thursday marks the 15th time that Utah Valley and Southern Utah have met on the hardwood -- a series that dates back to 2004. After dropping the first three games of the series, UVU went on a stretch of four consecutive wins over SUU that carried into the 2009-10 season. Since then, though, SUU has claimed the last seven in a row including a two-game sweep last season.

The Wolverines are slated to face two more in-state opponents later on this year: at Weber State on Dec. 7 and at Utah on Dec. 11.

Up next, Utah Valley hosts another pair of Big Sky Conference opponents on either side of the Thanksgiving holiday. Sacramento State rolls into the UCCU Center on Nov. 27 before Northern Arizona visits Orem on the 30th.