Utah Valley Grinds Out Win Over New Mexico State

Feb 19, 2021, 9:27 PM
Fardaws Aimaq - Utah Valley Wolverines...
Utah Valley center Fardaws Aimaq (Courtesy of Utah Valley Athletics)
(Courtesy of Utah Valley Athletics)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – It was a close game through but Utah Valley was able to pull off a 69-66 road win over New Mexico State in El Paso, Texas on Friday.

J.J. Overton had a big game with 18 points for Utah Valley in their win over New Mexico State. Evan Cole and Trey Woodbury added 15 points apiece. Fardaws Aimaq was all over the glass with 17 rebounds to go with six points.

C.J. Roberts led New Mexico State with 13 points. Jabari Rice chipped in 12 points and Donnie Tillman had 10.

It took Utah Valley nearly 3 minutes to finally score their first points of the game. New Mexico State started the game on an 8-0 run. After the sluggish start, UVU started to get good looks at the rim offensively and were getting stops on the defensive end of the floor.

The Wolverines kept the Aggies within arms length for most of the first half but a late New Mexico State run brought them within one before Utah Valley extended the lead. When the halftime horn sounded, UVU was up 33-28. J.J. Overton was massive for the Wolverines in the first half with 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field. Evan Cole chipped in 7 points. Utah Valley shot 58 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes of action.

Wilfried Likayi scored 9 points to lead New Mexico State. Former Utah Utes forward Donnie Tillman and Jabari Rice added 6 points apiece. The Aggies shot 36 percent from the field.

New Mexico State started figuring things out offensively as they took a one-point lead at the first media timeout of the second half. Midway through the second half, they went on a 6-0 and Utah Valley went over 3 minutes without any points.

The Wolverines found a way to grind out the win. New Mexico State did outscore UVU 37-36 in the second half. The Aggies shot just 39 percent from the floor in the second half, while Utah Valley made 56 percent of their field goals.

Utah Valley improved their record to 8-8 overall and 6-2 in Western Athletic Conference play. The Wolverines and Aggies will have a rematch on Saturday, February 20. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. MST and will be streamed on the WAC Digital Network.

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