Chicago State traveled to the UCCU Center looking to get their first win of the season against the Utah Valley women’s basketball team. The WAC opener took place on Thursday, Jan. 2, where the Wolverines extended their winning streak to three-straight with an 89-58 win.
The Wolverines are 13 games into the season, losing nine of them, with 15 games to go before the WAC tournament and UVU seems to have found their stride. With this win over the Cougars, the Wolverines were atop the WAC leaderboard before Kansas City knocked them down with their win over Seattle University and overall record of 8-7.
Quarter one led to the Cougars knocking down 22 points against the Wolverines 31 points, but, from there a superior defensive effort kept CSU to under 15 points per quarter for the rest of the game. The high-scoring quarter came due to impressive shooting from downtown by both teams. The Wolverines went 100% on 4-of-4 shooting with the Cougars right behind them, knocking down 4-of-5.
“The first quarter we gave them some shots we didn’t want to give them and I give them credit, they hit them,” said UVU head coach Dan Nielson. “Holding them to under 15 a quarter was great, there’s no question that was the difference in the game.”
While keeping the Cougars from scoring was a big aspect of the win, the other big aspect came from five Wolverines reaching the double-digit mark in points. Sophomore center Josie Williams had another huge night with 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting and 5-of-8 from the charity stripe.
Williams, along with CSU’s sophomore guard Kourtney Crane, led the game in free throws attempted. But it was Crane who won, sinking seven of them.
Sophomore guard Maria Carvalho helped her teammates score with eight assists while putting up 11 points herself. She led both teams in assists while shooting nearly perfect from every spot on the floor.
“All year we’ve talked about being ready going into conference and getting a little streak going,” said Nielson. “We’re excited to play and having that confidence there’s no question, is going to be a good thing for us on Saturday.”
That confidence will hopefully only rise with the possible return of sophomore forward Eve Braslis, who sat out the Chicago State game with a minor injury. Braslis contributes an average of 11 points per game and 4.3 rebounds per game for the Wolverines.
The Wolverines will play their fourth out of five straight home games when they host Kansas City on Saturday, Jan. 4, who beat SU 76-65 on Thursday night.