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UVU men’s basketball gets big win at Grand Canyon

By Staff | Jan 22, 2023

Courtesy UVU marketing

UVU junior Le'Tre Darthard looks to make a move during the WAC game against Grand Canyon in Phoenix on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023.

PHOENIX–Le’Tre Darthard matched a season high with 25 points and Trey Woodbury scored 19 to lead Utah Valley to a 76-74 road win at Grand Canyon on Saturday night at GCU Arena in Phoenix, Arizona.

Utah Valley extends its nation-leading road win streak to seven games and improves to 16-5 overall and 7-1 in WAC play.

“What a game from both sides,” said Utah Valley head coach Mark Madsen. “Grand Canyon had some good schemes with some great execution and our guys played so hard. I love the heart of our players. GCU hit six threes tonight and in their last game they had one guy make seven so it was nice to see our guys lock in on defending the three.”

Grand Canyon (13-7, 4-3) led by seven points, 62-55, with 7:37 remaining in the game. Utah Valley then went on a 20-5 run over the next six minutes, including seven points from Tim Fuller to take an eight-point 75-67 lead of its own with just 1:46 left to play.

GCU then scored seven unanswered points over the next 1:23 to cut the UVU lead to just one point, 75-74, with 23 seconds to play. UVU went 1-of-3 from the free throw line and GCU went 0-of-2 from the stripe over the final 23 seconds as UVU held on for the 76-74 win.

Darthard scored a game-high 25 points, connecting on 9-of-15 shots from the field, including a pair of shots from long range. He also went a perfect 5-of-5 from the free throw line. Darthard also pulled down seven rebounds with a pair of steals.

Woodbury scored his 19 points on 7-of-18 shooting and a 4-of-5 mark from the free throw line. He tallied six rebounds and dished out six of UVU’s seven assists.

Fuller was also in double figures with 10 points. He also had seven rebounds with two steals. Bandaogo had seven points and seven rebounds, while Blaze Nield had five points off the bench.

Utah Valley shot 45.3 percent (29-64) from the floor. The Wolverines shot just 27.3 percent (3-11) from beyond the arc. UVU shot 75 percent (15-20) from the free throw line. UVU held GCU to a 42.2 percent (27-64) clip from the field and a 28.6 percent (6-21) mark from long range.

UVU was outrebounded 43-36 but outscored the Lopes 42-36 in the paint. UVU had only eight turnovers and forced GCU into 13.

Utah Valley will continue WAC play on the road as the team travels south down I-15 to take on in-state rival Southern Utah on Thursday, Jan. 26. Tip off in Cedar City is set for 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN+ and on ESPN 960 AM radio.

UVU women’s basketball falls at Sam Houston

Sam Houston rode a hot start to a 71-56 win over Utah Valley University on Saturday at Johnson Coliseum in WAC women’s basketball action.

Kaylee Byon led the way with 17 points and five assists while Shay Fano finished with 16 for UVU. Ally Criddle added nine points and six rebounds for the Wolverines (4-15, 1-7), while the Bearkats (8-8, 4-3) had four players in double figures led by Raanee Smith’s 16 points and eight rebounds.

The Bearkats hit seven of their first 10 attempts from beyond the arc and were 9-for-16 in the opening half, building a 17-point lead after 20 minutes of play.

The Bearkats started the game 3-for-4 from three and were 5-for-8 in the opening quarter to build a 19-11 lead after one. Fano had seven in the first and scored after a no-look pass from Byon that made it 13-11 with 1:35 to go, but Sam Houston hit a pair of 3-pointers to close the quarter, including one from Mikayla Eddins that beat the buzzer.

The hot shooting from distance continued in the second as the Bearkats built a 29-16 lead after hitting their first two attempts. Criddle beat the shot clock with a three for UVU, but Sam Houston was in the middle of an 18-5 run that pushed the lead to 31-16 with 5:21 before halftime. Kayla Jefferson hit her third 3-pointer right before time expired and the Bearkats took a 41-24 lead into the break.

Fano and Jefferson both scored 11 to lead their teams in the opening half. Byon added eight and Criddle had five for the Wolverines.

Utah Valley trailed 43-24 early in the third before a 10-2 run trimmed the lead to 45-34. Mae Afoa hit a 3-pointer to start the run and Criddle scored four points including a jumper from the elbow that made it an 11-point game.

Sam Houston closed the quarter with seven straight points starting with Mikayla Woods’ third 3-pointer of the game, and the Bearkats took a 54-36 lead into the final quarter of play.

In the fourth, the Wolverines trailed 57-40 after buckets from Eleyana Tafisi and Fano, but Kemp put the game out of reach with back-to-back 3-pointers. Sam Houston finished the game 12-for-21 (57.1%) from beyond the arc.

Next week, Utah Valley will return home to host Seattle University next Thursday, Jan. 26 at 6 p.m. MT in the UCCU Center.

Three Wolverine wrestlers beat ranked opponents

Utah Valley University wrestling notched three ranked wins, including Ty Smith’s upset over #8 Clay Carlson at South Dakota State on Friday night in Big 12 Wrestling. The 16-ranked Jacks won the dual behind seven victories, 29-12.

Kase Mauger and No. 7 Demetrius Romero also earned wins for the Wolverines. Mauger pinned his opponent, No. 21 Tanner Jordan, in the second period (3:50) while Romero edged No. 13 Cade DeVos, 4-2.

The match at 141 ended the night with Smith’s victory coming in a highly contested bout. The Wolverine led 2-1 heading into the second and extended his lead to 4-2 after a reversal. In the action-packed third period, Carlson rallied with an escape and a takedown to take a brief 5-4 lead, but Smith answered right back with three of his own points on an escape and takedown. Carlson scored a late escape before Smith held on for the tight victory.

“Our expectation with every dual is to have ten wrestlers go out and wrestle start to finish with purpose and intensity. We have, for the most part, been able to do that. Tonight, it especially paid off for Ty and Kase, who had big wins over ranked opponents. Demetrius also had a controlled win against a highly ranked opponent as he continues to build toward being 100%,” said UVU head coach Greg Williams.

Utah Valley will head to Fargo and take on No. 14 North Dakota State on Sunday, Jan. 22. The dual will start at 1:00 p.m. MT and will air on gobison.com. UVU will then host Snow College and Big 12 foe Air Force on Friday, Jan. 27 in a tri-dual.

Courtesy UVU marketing

UVU senior Trey Woodbury attempts to pass the ball during the WAC game against Grand Canyon in Phoenix on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023.

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