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UVU’s Richard Harward Comes Up With Huge Game

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – “A huge, huge game,” were the words Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope used to describe Richard Harward’s performance on Thursday. “Hadn’t played a game until the middle of the season, sat for a year and half, then came in and in a large sense saved our season.”

The sophomore center scored 15 points in 26 minutes against UMKC, 13 of those points coming in the 2nd half with the Wolverines’ offense sputtering.

“I just realized someone needed to get some energy and so I just focused on getting rebounds,” Harward said.

He grabbed eight rebounds, five of which were offensive rebounds including a key put back off a miss by Conner Toolson late in the game.

That basket essentially put the game out of reach for UMKC.

“If there’s a ball and he gets a hand on it, he’s going to come up with it,“ Toolson said after the game. He led the Wolverines 20 points; Toolson and Harward combined to score 23 of Utah Valley’s 36 second half points.

“You find me another player in college basketball that sat for a year and half and felt like there was no chance he was going to break through on a roster,” Pope added. “(He) didn’t talk about leaving, didn’t talk about quitting, came every single day, worked his tail off, supported his team, and worked on getting better. When you have those kind of people, this is the results you get.”