One Team All Green

A Southwest Sweep? UVU Women’s Hoops Say “Yes, Please!”

A Southwest sweep sounds good.

The Southwest trip is never an easy one for WAC teams. The Pan Am Center and the UTRGV Fieldhouse are extremely tough places to play and for different reasons. At the Pan Am Center, both the New Mexico State men and women never lose. And UTRGV Fieldhouse is in Edinburg, Texas, clear at the south tip of Texas near the Mexico border so travel can be tedious.

But, for the UVU women’s basketball team, the trip to the Southwest was a success.

On Saturday, UVU earned a sweep of the Southwest trip with a 76-67 win over UTRGV. On Thursday night, the Wolverines beat New Mexico State, 58-54, at The Pan Am Center. The win over New Mexico State snapped the Aggies’ 23-game conference home winning streak. 

“I’m just so proud of this team for believing and continuing to buy in,” UVU head coach Dan Nielson said. “To win road games it’s not always going to be pretty. The way we executed down the stretch and the composure we played with defensively, I’m beyond excited for our girls to get this.” 

With the weekend sweep, UVU has now won seven straight games and sits atop the WAC standings at 5-0. The Wolverines are the lone unbeaten team after Chicago State shocked CSU Bakersfield at the Icardo Center on Saturday. 

A 10-0 run early in the fourth quarter was all the Wolverines needed in the win over New Mexico State Thursday. Despite Aggie star Gia Pack having a 25-point, 10-rebound double-double, it was the fourth quarter defensive clamps that sealed the win for the Wolverines. The Wolverines held the Aggies to just 2-13 shooting in the fourth quarter and 0-6 from 3-point land. And Josie Williams scored seven of her team-high 13 points in the final frame for the Wolverines. 

On Saturday, after a competitive first half where the teams were tied at the break, Alexis Cortez keyed an 11-0 run to start the second half and the Wolverines never looked back. Cortez scored 15 of her 17 points in the second half and hit the dagger 3-pointer with UVU holding a 62-59 lead with just over three minutes to play. 

“To sweep this trip is really big for us, especially against two really good, well-coached teams. Getting any road win is huge so to come here and do this is great,” said Nielson. “We’ve talked about being ready and having different people step up for us. The match-ups were better going smaller today and Alexis was big for us. I’m proud of her for staying positive after not playing a lot the other night.”

UVU senior Jordan Holland is inching closer to 1,000 points for her career. After her 16-point outing on Saturday, Holland needs 22 points to reach the 1,000-point plateau. 

The 5-0 start to WAC play is the best start since UVU joined the WAC prior to the 2013-14 season. UVU began WAC play in 2018-19 with four straight wins before ending conference play with an 8-8 record. 

For now, a Southwest sweep will suffice. And the ugly and rough 1-9 start to the season under first-year head coach Dan Nielson seems like such a long time ago. 

However, on Monday, it’s back to work for the UVU women. The Wolverines host second place CSU Bakersfield on Thursday morning. And then Grand Canyon comes to town on Saturday for an afternoon matinee. Both games are at the UCCU Center. 

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