Le’Tre Darthard was fouled on the game-winning three-point attempt as time expired, however, after review, officials deemed the foul came after the buzzer as the Wolverines fell to the Morgan State University Bears 73-72 in the opening round of the Jersey Mike’s Jamaica Classic.
Aziz Bandaogo recorded 15 points, eight rebounds, and five blocks in the loss, leading the Wolverines. Darthard and Justin Harmon also managed to score in double figures, as Darthard recorded 12 points and Harmon recorded 11. Shooting was again a struggle for UVU, as they shot 17% from behind the three-point line in the contest. The Wolverines also racked up a season-high 20 turnovers that led to 30 points for the Bears. Those mistakes proved to be the difference-maker in this contest.
The first half was very close and the Wolverines could not find a rhythm on offense. The issue of turnovers was prevalent right away and UVU committed nine turnovers leading to 13 Bear points. The Wolverines continued their three-point shooting woes to start this game and they are now shooting 25% from beyond the arch as a team. Despite their offensive struggles, the Wolverines utilized a 9-2 run just before the half to bring the score to 35-32.
The second half was neck-and-neck as neither team led by more than five points. With a minute remaining in the contest, Harmon laid in the ball for two points to tie the game at 66. The Bears would then make two free throws on the ensuing possession to claim a 68-66 lead. Trailing by two, Trey Woodbury came up with a huge steal and found Darthard for the game-tying layup with just 16 seconds remaining, sending this game to overtime.
The Wolverines maintained a lead throughout the majority of overtime, but the Bears retook the lead with 42 seconds remaining with a pair of free throws. Darthard had a chance to take the lead with a jumper with 10 seconds remaining, however, the shot was off and the Wolverines were forced to foul. The Bears missed both free throws on the other end, giving the Wolverines a chance.
Off of an inbound pass, the Wolverines went to Darthard who was fouled on a three-pointer before the buzzer sounded and the Wolverines were seemingly headed to the free-throw line to ice this game. Unfortunately for the Wolverines, the clock operator made an error and the clock was never started, which led to the officials waving off the foul, claiming it came after the buzzer should have sounded. Ending in a confusing and heartbreaking fashion, the Wolverines would not get free-throw attempts to win the game and fell 73-72.
Sports Editor and Senior Staff Writer
Senior at Utah Valley University majoring in applied communications.