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Wolverine women win, break losing streak

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OREM — The Utah Valley State women's basketball team broke an eight-game losing streak Thursday by defeating visiting Montana State 37-28.

Despite committing 14 second-half turnovers, the Wolverines won. They outrebounded the Bobcats 26-11 in the half to pick up their second win of the season and first at home.

"We've been aching for a win," said Utah Valley State head coach Cathy Nixon. "It's not fun to get pounded time after time."

Montana State lost its fourth consecutive game by shooting just 20 percent from the floor in the game and 2-of-22 on 3-pointers.

Utah Valley (2-12) held Montana State (6-7) to just four points during the first 12 minutes on the half, a time in which the Wolverines took commanding control of the game.

After Montana State tied the game at 20, the Wolverines outscored the Bobcats 12-2 to take a 32-22 lead, the largest of either team in the game. The run was capped by a Jessica Fales 3-pointer with 10:30 left.

The Bobcats' two leading scorers, Kati Burrows and Hillary Scott, were held to just six and four points, respectively. The two entered the game scoring 25 points per game between them.

Utah Valley State took control of the game by milking the shot clock to its final seconds before attempting a shot. The Wolverines then controlled the offensive boards to gain second and sometimes third shot clocks on single possessions.

"One of the changes we've been trying to make is taking control of the game," Nixon said. "We're trying to control offensive possessions."

Montana State made several attempts to recapture control of the game, but the Bobcats could not make shots down the stretch. The visitors made just 4-of-27 shots in the second half, including 0-11 from the three-point line.

Katie Wilson led the Wolverines in the game by scoring 11 points to go with 11 rebounds. Kaydee Allred also pulled down 11 rebounds before fouling out with 7:45 left in the game.

"I really think all of the performances were good," Nixon said. "The individual changes have to come in practice."

The Wolverines next play Weber State in Ogden on Saturday, their third game in five nights.

"I feel good about our conditioning level," Nixon said. "A win tonight gives us a good injection."

Both teams struggled shooting the ball in the first half. The Wolverines shot just 29 percent from the floor to the Bobcats' 26 percent. Montana State had several opportunities to hit open jump shots but made just 2-of-11 3-pointers in the half.

Utah Valley State took its first lead eight minutes into the game, 8-7, as Miriam Palkki hit a pull-up jumper in the lane. However, Montana State scored the next five points before Wilson made a layup to tie the game at 12.

Wilson led the Wolverines off the bench in the first half, scoring nine points and grabbing six rebounds. Scott paced the Bobcats with four points. Wilson and Scott were the only players to score more than three points in the half.

Both teams exchanged the lead four more times throughout the rest of the half, neither team taking more than a single-point lead.