After cutting the 15-point deficit to just six in the second half, the Utah Valley University women's basketball team fell to WAC leader New Mexico State, 68-58, in the annual Pink game on Saturday in the UCCU Center.
Utah Valley (7-12,1-3 WAC) went on a 9-0 run in the second half led by Georgia Agnew. Mariah Seals highlighted the run with a 3-pointer to pull the Wolverines within six, 48-42, which would be the closest UVU got as the Aggies (12-6, 5-0 WAC) converted their next three possessions for nine points with threes from Sasha Weber, Moriah Mack and Zaire Williams.
Seals led the Wolverines in scoring with 13 points, and Rebecca MaWhinney had 12, all from beyond the arc. Karlee Norris neared a double-double with 10 points and eight rebounds. UVU shot 42.9 percent on the game and 46.7 percent from downtown.
"It's encouraging that we played well, but also very frustrating, because we would get within striking distance over and over," head coach Cathy Nixon said. "With a team like that, that can shoot 3-pointers, you can't give them lapses, and it seemed like every time we gave them an opening they would hit a three. New Mexico State is a good team, but it is disappointing because if we would have capitalized on the momentum when we had it, we could have been more competitive."
Midway through the first half the Wolverines nailed a trio of 3-pointers started by Seals, with two more from MaWhinney. A layup from Norris helped the Wolverines to pull within four, 26-22.
Aggie guard Weber led all scorers with 24 points, and she shot 6-for-14 from the 3-point line. Shanice Davis put in 15, and Brianna Freeman chipped in another 12. Freeman also led the team with 13 boards. The Aggies were held to 37.1 percent shooting on the night.
Players and fans wore pink for the annual Pink game in honor of those fighting breast cancer. Utah Valley is a part of a national goal of bringing awareness to the cause by participating annually. Sophomore standout Rhaiah Spooner-Knight's mother, Megan Spooner, is currently battling breast cancer and was recognized at halftime along with former UVU player and cancer survivor, Mandy Ney Fuhriman, for their fight against cancer.
The Wolverines hit the road next week to see WAC foes Chicago State and Missouri-Kansas City on Jan. 29 and Jan. 31, respectively. Tipoff at Chicago State is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. MT, while tipoff at UMKC is set for 1 p.m. MT.