McClanahan’s late-game heroics gives UVU conference win over Redhawks

Reading Time: 2 minutes Jaden McClanahan’s steal with 30 seconds in the game, and a pair of free throws, propelled Utah Valley to their first conference win.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Utah Valley and Seattle U, two teams who were projected to finish third and fourth in the WAC conference, battled at the UCCU center for their brief conference slate during the non-conference season. 

The Redhawks featured a big starting lineup with every player standing over 6’3, which was going to force UVU to take more outside shots. 

The two teams started off trading buckets, with Caleb Stone-Carrawell scoring a quick six points off four shots.  

After the first media timeout, the Redhawks came alive. 

Seattle U would take a quick 25-18 lead, forcing Utah Valley to look for scoring opportunities throughout the whole team. 

But Utah Valley fought back, turning their seven-point deficit to a six-point lead in just over three minutes, giving Utah Valley a strong first half lead that was capped off by an Osiris Grady alley-oop poster. 

The back-and-forth battle continued Seattle U would go on a strong run of their own, handling a 9-0 run to take a 35-32 lead with 3:58 left in the first half. 

Despite there being four minutes left in the half, neither team managed to score the rest of the period until Stone-Carrawell used a shot fake to draw a foul to get three free throws. 

After two made free throws, UVU went into the second half trailing 35-34. 

The main storyline of the first half was Utah Valley’s inability to make their free throws, converting just 9-14 of shots from the stripe. 

Both teams came out hot in the second half, but it was Utah Valley clinging on to a 45-40 lead after the first media timeout. 

It was a very tight knit second half, the game was tied at one point at 54-54 with 7:12 to go with both teams itching for their first conference win.  

Seattle U hit a huge three-pointer with 4:20 to go to give them a 61-59 lead, but like the game has been, Utah Valley returned the favor with a three of their own to take a 62-61 lead with just under four minutes to go. 

Trevin Dorius was fouled on a dunk attempt, which gave him two free throws to put UVU ahead 69-66 with 1:12 to play. 

Cameron Tyson of Seattle U scored his 21st point just seconds later to trim the lead to one. 

Dorius was fouled yet again on the ensuing possession and hit two more big free throws to put Utah Valley ahead by three yet again with 39 seconds to go. 

But the hero of the day shined once more. 

Jaden McClanahan, who finished with 19 points on 5-9 shooting and 3-4 from deep, stole the ball and hit a free throw to give UVU the 72-68 lead. “I took a gamble. You don’t want to shoot the gap because he can just pop out to the corner. Something told me to shoot that gap,” McClanahan said. “Just kept building that lead, which was great.” 

After the missed second free throw attempt, UVU rebounded the ball and got two more attempts, abruptly ending the game. 

After fouls and free throws, UVU finished off Seattle U, winning 78-72 in a close conference opener, moving UVU to 1-0 on the WAC season.  

“We did some things that I am really pleased with, making free throws was big for us,” head coach Todd Phillips said. “I am really happy with the guys executing our gameplan.” 

UVU will have one more conference game against Utah Tech on Saturday Dec. 2 in St. George before returning to non-conference play to take on Weber State.