UTAH VALLEY WOLVERINES

Defense, Justin Harmon Carry Utah Valley To NIT Upset Over New Mexico

Mar 15, 2023, 10:10 PM | Updated: Mar 16, 2023, 10:22 am

SALT LAKE CITY – Justin Harmon scored a career-high 32 points as Utah Valley set a program record for wins, topping New Mexico 83-69 in the NIT.

Utah Valley (26-8, 15-3) traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico to face the second-seed New Mexico Lobos (22-12, 8-10) in the first round of the 2023 National Invitational Tournament.

The Wolverines advanced to the Western Athletic Conference semifinals before falling to in-state rival Southern Utah, 89-88. UVU finished as the WAC regular-season champions for the second time in three seasons.

New Mexico earned NIT first-round home-court advantage thanks to a 22-11 regular season finish. The Lobos lost 91-76 to Utah State in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Championships.

RELATED: Utah Valley Earns Automatic Bid To Play In NIT

Tim Fuller finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Trey Woodbury scored ten points while adding eight rebounds and a team-high seven assists.

Morris Udeze led New Mexico with 18 points and 19 rebounds in the loss.

First Half

Trey Woodbury connected with Aziz Bandaogo on Utah Valley’s first possession for an alley-oop dunk to set an early tone.

Both teams got off to a slow start from the field as UVU held a 9-8 lead at the first media timeout.

An 8-0 run allowed New Mexico to take their first lead of the night thanks to points from four different players. UVU answered with five straight points of their own to take a 14-12 lead with 11:58 left in the half.

The Wolverines built the largest lead of the night when Justin Harmon finished an old-fashioned three-point play to take a 22-16 lead.

UVU made six straight shots at one point as the lead jumped to double digits.

Utah Valley took a 38-25 lead into the final media timeout of the half. Harmon had a game-high 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting to lead the Wolverines.

Playing without Tim Ceasar, UVU’s Tim Fuller played well down low. The redshirt senior made four shots in a row on his way to nine points and a team-high six first-half rebounds. Harmon scored a game-high 20 points on 12 shots as Utah Valley built a 46-33 halftime lead.

Morris Udeze led New Mexico with 14 points and nine rebounds in the opening 20 minutes.

Second Half

An alley-oop dunk by Bandaogo opened the second half with UVU retaining their first-half momentum.

Harmon equaled his career-high of 24 points early in the second half. His layup gave UVU a 22-point lead with less than 16 minutes to play.

RELATED: Aziz Bandaogo Takes Over Late, Utah Valley Advances To WAC Semifinals

Jamal Mashburn Jr. made the Lobos first three of the night, capping a 7-0 run that brought them within 15 points. Tahj Small answered with back-to-back baskets to stem the run.

Similar to their last game, Utah Valley led 66-48 with 10:46 left to play. Unlike their WAC semifinal loss, the Wolverines had more than enough to hold on for an 83-69 win.

Up Next

Utah Valley advances to face Colorado (18-16, 8-12) from the Pac-12 Conference. The second round of the NIT will be played March 18-19. Dates and times for games are to be determined.

Utah Valley Wolverines

coors field...

Brian Preece

Locals In MiLB: Former Cottonwood Hurler Porter Hodge Earns Promotion To Triple-A

After earning a spot on the Chicago Cubs' 40-man roster following 2023, former Cottonwood Colt Porter Hodge is one step away from the bigs.

8 days ago

Carter-Welling-UC-Irvine-Mens-Basketball...

Kyle Ireland

Utah Valley Men’s Basketball Adds Multiple Transfer Players

Utah Valley men’s basketball announced the addition of multiple players to its roster via the transfer portal ahead of the 2024-25 season.

12 days ago

Drake Allen Utah Valley Basketball...

Brian Preece

Former UVU Guard Drake Allen Chooses Utah State In Transfer Portal

Drake Allen will suit up for his third Beehive State team when he takes the floor for Utah State after spending last season with Utah Valley. 

20 days ago

BYU Baseball - Miller Park...

Brian Preece

Locals In MiLB: 28 Beehive Locals Join Minor League Teams For 2024

From Cache to Washington Counties and everywhere between, 28 local athletes litter minor-league baseball rosters at the pro level.

1 month ago

UCCU Stadium - UVU...

Chandler Holt

Utah Valley To Hold Groundbreaking Ceremony For New UCCU Stadium

Utah Valley University will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the new UCCU Stadium on the west side of campus on April 9.

2 months ago

Todd-Phillips-Utah-Valley-Wolverines...

Brian Preece

First Round Loss Eliminates Utah Valley From WAC Tournament

The Utah Valley Wolverines ran out of gas in overtime as Cal Baptist took control in the extra period for a 74-63 win.

2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @kslsports...

KSL Give-A-Thon

The KSL Sports Zone, KSL 5 TV, FM100.3, 103.5 The Arrow, and KSL NewsRadio have teamed up to raise money for the kids being served by Primary Children’s Care!

ksl-sports-newsletter...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

...

KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and KSLSports.com are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Defense, Justin Harmon Carry Utah Valley To NIT Upset Over New Mexico