Both Utah Tech basketball teams suffer disappointing defeats against in-state rival Wolverines

ST. GEORGE — It was tough to be a Trailblazer on Saturday.

Utah Tech’s Alyson Deaver battles for a loose ball against Utah Valley in a Western Athletic Conference women’s basketball game, St. George, Utah, Jan. 20, 2024 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

Both Utah Tech basketball teams fell in hard-fought contests against in-state and Western Athletic Conference rival Utah Valley University.

In St. George, Utah Tech’s women faced the daunting task of playing without WAC Preseason Player of the Year and leading scorer Breaunna Gillen.

Associate Athletics Director for Media Relations Steve Johnson told St. George News that Gillen got banged up in Utah Tech’s win over Southern Utah on Thursday night and was held out of Saturday’s game.

Gillen was on the bench cheering for her teammates, who needed time to find their footing without their leader. Utah Valley took a 17-8 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Utah Tech rallied with a strong second quarter, limiting the Wolverines to 10 points and cutting the halftime score to 27-24.

The three-point deficit would not go away as the teams battled to a 15-15 tie in the third quarter and a 13-13 tie in the fourth quarter to provide the final margin, 55-52 for Utah Valley.

Maddie Warren played the entire contest for the Trailblazers and accounted for a game-high 16 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Catelyn Deaver shot 3-of-6 from the 3-point line and scored 14 points for Utah Tech’s cause. Alyson Deaver netted eight points and grabbed six rebounds and also snared six boards to go along with her seven points.

UVU’s Jenna Dick sank four 3-pointers to lead the Wolverines with 15 points. Kylee Mabry scored 12 for the visitors and Tahlia White was third for UVU with nine points.

Utah Tech continues a four-game home stand with its next game on Thursday, Jan. 25 against Abilene Christian, 7 p.m. at Burns Arena.

Up Interstate 15 in Orem on Saturday afternoon, Utah Tech’s men recovered from a terrible first half and challenged the Wolverines in the second half, but UVU held on to win 84-71 and handed the Trailblazers their second loss in a row and fourth loss in the last five games.

Utah Tech’s Stone Hutchings goes up for two against Utah Valley University in a WAC men’s basketball game, Orem, Utah, Jan. 20, 2024 | Photo by Emily Wight, Utah Tech Athletics Media Relations, St. George News

The Trailblazers fell to 7-11 overall on the season including a 3-4 mark in WAC games.

Everything worked for the Wolverines in the first half as UVU (9-10, 4-4) jumped out to a 39-25 lead at halftime.

While the Blazers won the second session 46-45, the hole they dug for themselves in the first half was just too deep to get out of.

Noa Gonsalves led Utah Tech’s effort against UVU with 16 points. Tanner Christensen recorded his fourth double-double of the season, recording 15 points, 14 rebounds, two assists and a career-high five blocks in defeat.

Tanner Toolson won the day for UVU, pouring in a game-high 26 points. The Wolverines got complimentary scoring from Drake Allen (16 points) and Caleb Stone-Carrawell (13 points).

The Trailblazers will look to heal their wounds on the road, next playing at Abilene Christian University in Texas on Thursday, Jan. 25.

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