Utah Valley Sits Atop WAC Standings After Win Over Grand Canyon
Mar 5, 2021, 9:13 PM
(Courtesy of Utah Valley Athletics)
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – In order to win the WAC regular season title, Utah Valley needs to sweep Grand Canyon and they were able to get the first win of the weekend, 59-55.
The Antelopes hosted the Wolverines on Friday, March 5.
It was a grind it out first half for Utah Valley. Both teams struggled shooting the ball to begin the game but settled in as the game progressed. The Wolverines held a 27-24 lead at the halftime break. Evan Cole had seven points and two steals in the first half. Fardaws Aimaq added seven points, nine rebounds and one block. Trey Woodbury chipped in seven points, one rebound and one assist.
Utah Valley shot 43 percent from the field in the opening half and knocked down two of their four attempts from the three-point line.
— UVU Men’s Basketball (@UVUmbb) March 6, 2021
In the second half, the Wolverines jumped out to a 13-point lead midway through the half. But then they went through a shooting slump, making just one of their last seven field goal attempts. Grand Canyon cut the UVU lead to three, 52-49 with 2:13 left in the game.
With just over one minute remaining, Fardaws Aimaq hit a jumper to give the Wolverines a five-point lead. Grand Canyon made a layup on the other end to make it a one-possession game with 41 seconds left. The Lopes decided to foul despite being down by just three points with 41 seconds left. Blaze Nield made just one of two free throws.
Grand Canyon missed a three-pointer on the other end. UVU got the rebound and threw the ball down to Evan Cole for a runout layup but was fouled at the rim. Cole missed the both free throws. After missing a three, Grand Canyon got the offensive rebound and quickly put the ball in through the hoop with 6.8 seconds left and UVU with a two-point lead.
Blaze Nield made both free throws to seal the victory for Utah Valley. Cole finished with 20 points to lead UVU. Trey Woodbury added 16 points. Fardaws Aimaq scored 9 points and pulled down 15 rebounds.
With the win, the Wolverines improved to a record of 11-9 on the season and 9-3 in Western Athletic Conference games.
Utah Valley’s next game will be a rematch with Grand Canyon.
The Antelopes will host the Wolverines in a battle for the regular season WAC title on Saturday, March 6 at 7 p.m. (MDT). The game will broadcast on ESPN3.