Powerhouse team or fledgling upstart team, one thing is for certain–Every game matters.
Though playing against the shorthanded Academy of Art University, UVU didn’t ease up on the upstart Urban Knights. Sharp-shooting Ryan Toolson and company opened up to set the mark for the Wolverines’ largest margin of victory this season to date as they defeated the Urban Knights 81-43.
Toolson, coming off a remarkable 63-point game last week, scored 26 points to go with his six assists. Junior Tyray Petty had his second double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Six of his rebounds were on the offensive glass.
“The game plan worked out as I had hoped. The Academy of Art was certainly competitive and short handed. But they were physical and I thought they banged us around.
Collectively I don’t think we moved backwards in our play. I thought our players played well and moved their game forward.”
“My offensive rebounds were my points really,” Petty said. “And that got me going and everybody got going after that.”
At the break, the Wolverines held a lead of 43-23, which was the largest lead the team has held at the half all season long. UVU made 12 field goals in the half, seven of which were from behind the three-point line.
Utah Valley stretched an already excessive lead in the second half holding the Academy of Art to only 6-of-23 shooting in the period for a field goal percentage of 26.1.
Toolson, who ended the game shooting 8-14 from the field, 6-9 from three, and 4-5 from the foul line is now only 12 points away from becoming the first Wolverine in Utah Valley men’s basketball history to reach the 2,000 points in his career.
“It’s always something exciting,” Toolson said. “I’m really proud of our team to help me personally in helping me achieve that total.”
As for the Academy of Art, the team is a work in progress. The Urban Knights are coached by Peter Thibeaux, a former NBA player. Thibeaux joins the Urban Knights as the program’s first coach and is building a new program in a similar way to what Utah Valley faced when it made the jump from junior college status to Division I. The school’s motto is “Be Athlete. Be Artist.”
This is UVU’s final season of participating as a Division I independent team. Next year UVU will officially join the Great West Conference, making scheduling teams easier.