Wolverines squander lead late, fall to CBU on the road
On the heels of back-to-back home wins, the Utah Valley Wolverines headed west for their final road game of the season. The Wolverines faced the California Baptist Lancers on Wednesday, Feb. 26 at the CBU Events Center in Riverside, California. Prior to the game, the Lancers had an overall record of 19-8 and sat in second place in the WAC standings.
Despite leading for more than 18 minutes of the game, the Wolverines couldn’t hang on to their lead and fell 73-66.
Head coach Mark Madsen did not make the trip to Riverside as he was celebrating the birth of his child earlier in the week. Assistant coach Todd Phillips led the Wolverines in his place.
The Lancers came out swinging and took a lead early on in the first half. UVU found themselves at risk of giving up an insurmountable lead after a CBU run put the Lancers up 18-10. The Wolverines managed to put together a run of their own though, taking a 19-18 lead. A back-and-forth half saw runs by each team, as UVU held a slim 29-28 lead heading into the locker room at halftime.
UVU shot 25% from three-point range in the first half which was still better than the Lancers who made only 1-of-11. Senior guard T.J. Washington scored only two points in the half but dished out five assists. The Lancers were led by senior forward De’jon Davis who scored 15 points.
The second half played out much like the end of the first, with neither team able to build a substantial lead. No team led by more than four points until UVU took a 55-49 lead with only six minutes remaining. Their lead didn’t last long though, as CBU took a one-point lead with four minutes left before pulling ahead.
Washington was more active offensively down the stretch, scoring 12 points on four shots in the second half. Sophomore guard Trey Woodbury also found his rhythm shooting 3-of-4 from the field including the Wolverines’ only three-point basket of the second half.
With only 90 seconds remaining, CBU led 61-59 but quickly increased their lead to as many as eight points. UVU couldn’t seem to buy a basket in the closing minutes, at one point missing seven straight field goals. The Lancers clinched the victory in the clutch by shooting 10-of-10 from the charity stripe in the final minute.
Washington led the Wolverines with 14 points while Woodbury and junior guard Brandon Averette each scored 13. Senior forward Emmanuel Olojakpoke played 24 minutes but scored only two points.
The Wolverines return home for their final two home games next week. They first play host to Kansas City on Thursday, March 5, at 7 p.m. MST in the UCCU Center.
Photo by Hunter Hall