NAU women can't keep up with Utah Valley
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- Utah Valley had eight players score four or more points and held NAU to 32.8 percent shooting in a 62-44 win Saturday afternoon at Rolle Activity Center.
Senior Amy Patton led the Lumberjacks with 13 points and sophomore Sarah Tarver had eight points in her first NAU start as the Lumberjacks fell to 1-8 on the season. The Wolverines improved to 3-9.
“I was disappointed in our effort,” NAU head coach Sue Darling said. “I thought we went hard in practice and it did not translate into the game so I’m very disappointed. It all comes down to effort; (Utah Valley) felt no pressure from us at all and that has to do with our effort.”
The Lumberjacks were held to 28.1 percent shooting in the second half after shooting 38.5 percent in the first despite trailing 36-23 at halftime. Utah Valley hit six 3-pointers in the first half to build a substantial lead, as the visitors shot 40.4 percent for the game and had a slight 38-35 edge in rebounding. NAU shot 2 for 12 from beyond the 3-point arc and went to the free-throw line just four times while the Wolverines went 9 for 10 from the charity stripe.
Patton was the only Lumberjack to finish in double-figures while she added seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals. An All-Big Sky soccer player for NAU as a freshman, Tarver totaled career-highs of eight points and five rebounds while Aubrey Davis and Raven Anderson each had six points with Davis bringing in a team-high nine rebounds. Utah Valley senior Sammie Jensen led the Wolverines with 13 points and eight rebounds.
Both teams came out firing to open the game as NAU made its first four shots and a Patton three knotted the game at 11-11 at the 16:19 mark of the opening half. The Lumberjacks went cold from there as Utah Valley used 7-0 run to build an 18-11 lead that extended to a 20-13 cushion with 13:21 left in the half. An Anderson layup brought the home team within a 25-19 deficit at the 11:07 mark, but the Lumberjacks scored just two points over the next eight minutes. The teams combined for just one field goal for more than four and a half minutes before a Davis jumper brought NAU within a 31-23 deficit, but Utah Valley scored the last five points of the half to take a 36-23 lead at the intermission.
The Wolverines opened the second half on a 6-0 run to extend to a 19-point advantage before consecutive Patton jumpers brought NAU back within a 42-27 margin. The Lumberjacks would get no closer than that 15-point deficit for the remainder of the contest, as Utah Valley turned a 44-29 lead into a game-high 55-33 lead with 7:39 to play following an 11-4 run. After trailing 56-35 NAU had a 6-0 run sparked by four points from Tarver, but it could get no closer as the Wolverines finished off a 62-44 win.
“Sarah (Tarver) has been a great addition to the team,” Darling said. “She shows the effort that I like to see defensively and offensively. I really appreciate that kid.”
The Lumberjacks open Big Sky play on the road next week, playing at Montana on Thursday and at Montana State next Saturday.