Utah Valley loses first home game of the season to Liberty

Reading Time: 2 minutes Utah Valley Men’s Basketball fell to Liberty on Wednesday night, suffering their first home loss of the season and thrid straight loss.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Utah Valley Men’s Basketball team returned home to host the Liberty Flames after a tough stretch on the road, falling to both PAC-12 opponents, Oregon State and Utah. 

In just the first ever meeting between the two, Liberty came out on top with a dominant victory against the Wolverines 79-63

“Liberty is a great team and we just gave them way too many easy baskets at the rim,” head coach Todd Phillips stated. “We just have got to be better defensively”. 

Liberty dominated on all four phases the entire game.

Four of the five starters for Liberty ended in double figures and were led by sophomore guard Zach Cleveland as he recorded 19 points, seven assists and eight rebounds. 

Osiris Grady notched a career-high 16 points and Trevin Dorius added 15 of his own along with eight rebounds in the Wolverine’s first loss at home this season.

After Jaden Mclanahan was the first on the board with a jumper to take its first lead the Flames wasted no time going on a 7-0 run that extend the lead 14-6

Utah Valley went almost four minutes without a bucket which was the story of the game.

“We have got to make some threes, you’re not gonna win too many games if you only hit two,” Phillips added. “I feel like we have great shooters, we just need to draw up more plays to get their shots in rhythm.”

Utah Valley shot just 38% from the field while Liberty had one of their best outings this year at 60%.

Despite not shooting well the Wolverines stayed within striking distance.

With just a minute left to go in the half, K’mani Doughty knocked down a three off of a turnover from the Flames, but they responded in the ensuing possession as Cleveland made a hookshot to extend the lead to 12 entering the half 46-34

Liberty built off their momentum starting the second half going on a 10-1 run extending their lead to its largest of the night at 21

With 10:00 minutes to go Utah Valley started to create pressure and force a couple turnovers which led to the Wolverines outsourcing the Flames 18-13 to close out the game. 

Despite of their efforts UVU drops their first home loss of the season 79-63

“We’ve got to get our swagger and mojo back,” Phillips added. “This is a gauntlet of teams we have been facing, we just have to keep grinding and getting tougher.”

The Wolverines will head back out on the road to face Boise State next Friday at 7 p.m. MST before heading into conference play. This game can be streamed on ESPN+.