OREM — Utah Valley women’s basketball player Jaeden Brown did something on Thursday that’s never been done in the history of the program.
And that something was at the perfect time for the Wolverines.
Brown had the first 20-20 game in program history to lead Utah Valley to a 65-63 double overtime win over Grand Canyon on Thursday in the WAC opener.
The Wyoming transfer finished with 20 points and 20 rebounds in a game marred by turnovers.
Yes, 57 turnovers combined. Utah Valley committed 31 turnovers. Grand Canyon committed 26.
And yet, despite neither team playing to win, someone had to win a ball game.
Shay Fano made sure the game went into overtime knocking down a pair of free throws with 16 seconds left in regulation.
GCU took a quick 52-48 lead to start the first overtime period on back-to-back Tiara Brown buckets.
But Jaeden Brown responded with a driving layup. And then a pair of freshman stepped up for Utah Valley.
Kylee Mabry scored her first points of the game with a pair of free throws. And Kaylee Byon stepped to the line and knocked down a pair to give UVU a 54-52 lead with 2:09 remaining in the first overtime.
But, Tiara Brown kept attacking and tied the game up at 54 with 1:55 to play.
After a pair of free throws by Ally Criddle gave Utah Valley a 56-54 lead with 55 seconds to play, UVU allowed a long rebound. And Chicago State transfer Aaliyah Collins converted on the other end to send the game into a second overtime.
Once again, Kylee Mabry stepped up and knocked down a pair of free throws to give UVU a 58-56 lead. And Jaeden Brown hit a layup on the next possession to push it to a 4-point lead.
Mabry then hit 1-of-2 from the charity stripe to make it a 61-56 lead with 2:31 to play.
Shay Fano’s free throws with 1:04 left in the second overtime push the lead to seven.
But, GCU kept coming. Syd Palma knocked down a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to four with 54 seconds remaining. And after a pair of missed free throws by Ally Criddle, Aaliyah Collins stepped up and knocked down a pair of free throws to make it a 2-point game with 27 seconds remaining.
Once again, a freshman stepped up in a big moment for the Wolverines. Byon once again knocked down a pair of free throws with 17 seconds remaining and UVU held on for dear life to earn a big win to open conference play.
Shay Fano had 13 points and eight rebounds. Ally Criddle had 11 points. And Kaylee Byon finished with 10 points and five assists.
Utah Valley was 13-16 from the free throw line in the overtime periods while GCU was just 4-8.
The loss on Thursday was the third straight for the Lopes. Tiarra Brown had a team-high 16 points for the Lopes. Aaliyah Collins and Evan Zars each finished with 12 points for GCU. The Lopes are 8-4 overall and 0-1 in WAC play.
Utah Valley improves to 4-8 overall and 1-0 in WAC. Thursday’s win was just the second win over a Division I opponent for the Wolverines.