UVSC 74, Louisburg, N.C. 59

SALINA, Kansas — Utah Valley State College defeated Louisburg, North Carolina, 74-59 Saturday to win the consolation title at the NJCAA Women's Basketball Championships.

The Wolverines stormed past the Hurricanes, and for the first time in the tournament UVSC coach Cathy Nelson got to clear her bench. The Wolverine regulars ran the lead up to as many as 19 points. Mariam Sy led UVSC with 16 points. Kristen Saliby continued her outstanding play with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Hillary Wallace and Bekka Carlson added nine points apiece. The bench scored nearly half of UVSC's points, tossing in 36. UVSC shot over 59 percent from the field, and dominated from start to finish. The Wolverines out-rebounded Louisburg 44-24.

The Wolverines won three straight games impressively in the tournament after an opening double-overtime loss to Jefferson College.

"I feel really food about today's win," said Nixon. "I've never finished the season before with a win, and it feels good. I felt my girls showed a lot of character after the Jefferson loss to come back and win the last three. This win really says a lot about them."

Saliby, who averaged 17.3 points and 10.3 rebounds for the tournament, was named to the All-Tournament team.

"We did it,' she said. "We came back after losing the opener and won the consolation championship. Of course we would have rather been playing for first place, but we had to put that behind us and go to work. And we know how to do that. All it takes to win is to work one second longer than the other team."

It did not take UVSC long to get going Saturday. After leading by just two early at 14-12, the Wolverines went on a 7-0 run to make it 21-12.

Moments later they went on a 12-0 run, with Sy getting eight of the points, and led 35-16. They settled for a 39-22 lead at the half.

In the second period the Wolverines maintained the double-digit lead, bumping it back up to 19 on a Brooke Johnson 3-pointer that made it 53-34 at the 12:15 mark. Nixon cleared her bench at the midway point in the half, giving the reserves plenty of playing time. Louisburg whittled the lead down to 12 at 71-59 with 2:30 to go but was unable to score again.

Megan Hovey drilled a three-pointer in the closing seconds to put UVSC back up by 15.

UVSC closed out the season on a high note, with a 27-10 record. The 27 wins were the fifth most in UVSC history.