Utah Valley Men’s Basketball opened their season with a victory over Carroll College, starting off 1-0 for the first time since the 2020 season.
The first bucket of the season went to Utah State transfer Trevin Dorius who had a putback dunk following a Drake Allen floater.
Early impressions from the Wolverines this season is their confidence in the bench. Within just four minutes, nine different players saw the floor for Utah Valley.
The one starter who stayed on the floor, BYU transfer Tanner Toolson.
While Utah Valley rebuilt through the transfer portal, Toolson is one of the biggest gets of the offseason.
Toolson poured in 18 points, connecting on seven of his 11 shot attempts in 14 minutes of first-half play.
Another bright spot in the first half was senior Jaden McClanahan who had six assists in the first half.
Despite a rocky first half, Utah Valley lead the Saints 35-30.
Utah Valley got off to a quick start in the second half, going on a 6-2 run over the first two minutes which prompted a timeout from the Saints.
Toolson continued his impressive performance hitting a three to put Utah Valley up 10 early on.
Toolson’s stellar game prompted “We want Tanner!” chants from the crowd.
Utah Valley would grow their lead throughout the second half, using a 9-0 run from the likes of Toolson and Allen.
UVU would head into the under-eight-minute media timeout leading CC 61-47
The Wolverines would hit a snag offensively, but Osiris Grady would get a dunk in the lane, then an and-one layup the next possession, putting UVU up 16.
But even with a 16-point lead, the Saints were not going to go away without a fight.
CC would go on a short run, trimming the lead to 73-63 with just over three minutes to go, and even getting it to six.
But the lead was too large and not enough time for CC to make a comeback, as Utah Valley would win 81-73.
Allen highlighted his UVU debut with 20 points, 6 boards, 4 assists and was 7/11 from the field.
Toolson led all scorers with 25 points, shooting 8-15 from the field and 3-10 from deep.
McClanahan finished with seven points, 10 assists and five boards in 25 minutes off the bench.
Despite the win, head coach Todd Phillips was not 100% pleased with the performance, “I had some nerves, and our players had a lot of nerves. The zone took a lot of energy out of us,” Phillips said. “We hung in there and were resilient.”
Toolson also added his thoughts after his career-starting night.
“Playing with Drake (Allen) is so fun. Our team is also fast so getting out to play with him adds another layer of speed, vision, and scoring.”
Utah Valley will head to Texas to take on Sam Houston on Thursday, Nov. 9. The Wolverines have never lost to the Bearkats, perfecting a 4-0 stretch since 2017.
Nathan Dunn is the Sports Editor for the UVU Review. After three years at Utah State, Nathan is majoring in Public Relations and Digital Media at Utah Valley University. In his free time, Nathan likes to watch all sports but mostly College Football. Nathan works hard to give the best sports content to UVU fans, media, and students.