First win finally comes for men

A 1-2 record isn’t unexpected for Utah Valley men’s basketball team. Especially since the team could have gone 3-0 or 0-3 in the Wolverines first three games‚ all on the road.

Turnovers were the key as Utah Valley committed 28 in a one-point loss to Boise State, 17 in a loss to No. 11 Marquette and 20 in its first win versus Arkansas State.

It’s been a team effort in the error department as no one player is committing most of the mistakes.

But helping the team along despite the miscues is successfully competing on the boards, with its offensive rebounds standing out. Of Jordan Brady’s 15 rebounds against Boise State, seven were from offensive boards. Joe Walker’s 13 rebounds led the team in the win against Arkansas State.

Ryan Toolson is carrying the Wolverines in scoring, averaging 23 points in the first three games. Depth, though, has to be a concern; as not many players are putting in points.

Six players scored against Arkansas State and Boise State, with seven contributing points against Marquette.

As the team comes home for two next week, an easier schedule gives the bench a chance to step up.


Nov. 9: Boise State 73, Utah Valley 72 (OT)

Toolson’s 29 points and Brady’s double-double of 17 points and 13 rebounds couldn’t help Utah Valley in a 73-72 overtime loss in its season-opener against the Broncos.

It was a battle in the second half, but neither team could break out. The Wolverines and the Broncos’s defenses stepped up to not allow a point in sending the game to overtime.

Boise State built up an eight-point lead in the extra session and were able to hang on for the win.

The Wolverines held a 10-point lead at one point in the first half before Boise State closed the gap to 35-33 in Utah Valley’s favor at the half.

Nov. 12: Marquette 66, Utah Valley 55

The Wolverines held a two-point lead at halftime against No. 11-ranked Marquette, but were unable to hang on in a 66-55 loss.

Toolson led Utah Valley with 20 points and downed five three-pointers.

After being down by two at the break, Marquette stormed into the lead  and didn’t look back by rattling off an 8-3 run early in the second half.

Richard Troyer added 12 points, from his 4-of-7 three-point shooting, and added six rebounds.

Nov. 14: Utah Valley 67, Arkansas State 63

Four of the five starters for the Wolverines scored double-figures in leading the team to its first win in a 67-63 victory over Arkansas State.

Walker was the only starter not to score at least 10 points. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t contribute as he led on the glass with 13 rebounds and also blocked four shots.

Down 25-24 at halftime, Utah Valley built up a lead with a 10-5 run in the second half and held a 52-43 lead. The Wolverines came through despite a Arkansas State comeback attempt near the end.

In focus:

Ryan Toolson averaged 23 points over the first three games

Jordan Brady and Joe Walker cleaning up on the glass after both players each put in  double-digit rebounding performances over the three-game trip.

Turnovers an issue as the Wolverines are averaging more than 20 a game early on in the season.

Utah Valley needs more players involved in the offense as only seven at most are putting in points during each of its three games.

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