Utah Valley Fights Off Southern Utah’s Comeback Attempt For In-State Win

Feb 11, 2023, 9:23 PM | Updated: Feb 13, 2023, 4:46 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Valley men’s basketball team held off a second half comeback attempt by the Southern Utah Thunderbirds to secure an in-state victory.

The Wolverines hosted the T-Birds at UCCU Center in Orem, Utah on Saturday, February 11.

UVU defeated SUU, 90-83.

After trailing by double-digits in the first half, the Thunderbirds made it a game late before the Wolverines were able to close out the in-state foe.

A little over five minutes into the contest, Utah Valley and Southern Utah were knotted a 10-10 on the scoreboard. Le’Tre Darthard and Tim Fuller connected on a pair of jumpers to give the Wolverines a two-possessions advantage. After that, Southern Utah wasn’t able trim its deficit to a single possession until four minutes into the second half.

At halftime, UVU owned a 15-point lead, 48-33.

However, after the break, the Thunderbirds upped their production and dropped 50 points on the home team. Despite cutting Utah Valley’s lead to two points in the final half, SUU was never able to overcome its early deficit. Utah Valley led throughout the final 34 minutes of game time and captured the win.

Utah Valley finished the game shooting 42.4 percent from the field, including 24.0 percent on three-pointers. Five Wolverines reached double figures in scoring. Darthard led UVU with 31 points, nine rebounds, one assists, and three steals. Fuller added 14 points and 13 boards.

Aziz Bandaogo, Trey Woodbury, and Tahj Small combined to score 30 points for the Wolverines.

Southern Utah shot 40.0 percent overall and 33.3 percent from beyond the arc. Four T-Birds scored 12 points or more. Jason Spurgin and Drake Allen led the Thunderbirds with 17 points apiece.

With the result, Utah Valley improved its record to 20-6 this season, including 11-2 in Western Athletic Conference games. Southern Utah dropped to 17-9 this season, including 9-4 in league play.

UVU’s next game is on the road against the Seattle University Redhawks on Saturday, February 18 at 6 p.m. (MDT). The game will be streamed on ESPN+.

SUU’s next contest is at home against the Utah Tech Trailblazers on Friday, February 17 at 7 p.m. (MDT). That game will also be streamed on ESPN+.

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Utah Valley Fights Off Southern Utah’s Comeback Attempt For In-State Win