EDINBURG, TX (UTPA) - The University of Texas-Pan American Lady Broncs defeated Utah Valley University (UVU), 78-69, this evening (Feb. 13) on Sam Williams Court at the UTPA Fieldhouse.
In the first half, UVU jumped out to an early lead after Jenna Johnson scored a basket and sank two free-throws after two turnovers and a foul. The Lady Broncs and UVU traded baskets back and forth and after seven lead changes the Lady Broncs were able to scratch out a three point lead at the first half buzzer with the score at 33-30.
The second half started with the teams trading baskets once again and UVU eventually regained the lead after two three point baskets by Johnson made the score 44-47 in favor of UVU with 13:33 left in the games. The Lady Broncs battled back and went ahead after a jump shot by Aleeya Grisgby made it 63-61 with 3:49 left in the game. In the last few minutes of the game, the Lady Broncs would stretch their lead to as many as 14 points before pulling out the 78-69 victory.
"This win solidifies what you try to do in your conference and that's win your home games," said head coach Denny Downing. "I told the seniors in the locker room, you're 5-1 at home in the conference and that's what you try to do. When you win your home games and split half your road games, you have a chance to win a conference title," added Downing.
Marah Guzman led the Lady Broncs with a career high 21 points while adding five rebounds. Former Nacogdoches Lady Dragon Aleeya Grigsby recorded her sixth double-double of the season with 15 points and 15 rebounds. Maria Ben Erlingsdottir scored 16 points and Bianca Torre added 10 points and nine assists.
"We've been telling them, you own the last four minutes of the game. When we play the way we play, we make more trips up and down the court and your conditioning will kick in and we also went to a man defense for the last four minutes and the intensity picked up," added Downing.
For UVU, Julie Smith recorded a game-high 24 points with Jenna Johnson scoring 19 and Asumi Nakayama adding 14 points.
The Lady Broncs shot 45.2% from the field, 35.0% from beyond the three-point line and 71.4% from the free-throw line. UVU shot 43.9% from the field, 42.1% from behind the three-point arc and 57.9% from the free-throw line.
The Lady Broncs return to action as they head to Newark, New Jersey when they take on NJIT on Saturday, February 20.