It was a tale of two halves for the Utah Valley men’s basketball team, as they squandered a nine-point halftime lead en route to a loss to the Seattle U Redhawks 71-65 at the Climate Pledge Arena on Wednesday, Jan. 12.
Seattle U shot 0-for-12 from three in the first half, but the law of averages balanced out those numbers as the Redhawks shot 10-for-21 in the second half.
Fardaws Aimaq had 16 points and nine rebounds, but shot just 5-of-19 from the field on the night. The Redhawks were consistently double-teaming Aimaq, making it difficult for him to find any rhythm offensively. Le’Tre Darthard added 15 points and 7 rebounds, while Connor Harding added 13 points. Tim Ceaser stepped in for an ailing Tim Fuller, who didn’t make the trip to Seattle due to an undisclosed illness, and logged six points and a career-high 15 rebounds in his first start for the Wolverines.
Seattle U’s Big 3 of Cameron Tyson, Riley Grigsby, and preseason WAC Player of the Year Darrion Trammel accounted for 58 of the Redhawks’ 71 points on the night. Tyson led all scorers with 25, including going 5-for-8 from three in the second half, while Trammel and Grigsby added 20 and 13 respectively.
The first half was hotly contested, with six ties and eight lead changes through the first 15 minutes of action. A pair of threes from Asa McCord and Jaden McClanahan as well as four free throws from Aimaq, helped extend the Wolverine lead heading into halftime.
The Redhawks came out of intermission with an 11-3 run to cut the deficit to one. The Wolverines responded with a 16-7 run of their own highlighted by a Darthard three to extend the lead back up to double figures at 54-44, but the UVU offense stalled from there. The Wolverines were outscored 27-11 over the final 7:27.
Despite the hot shooting from Seattle U in the second half, the Wolverines still led by four coming out of the under-four media timeout. The Redhawks took over from there, nailing five three’s down the stretch, with three from Tyson and one each from Trammel and Grigsby.
The Wolverines fall to 11-5 on the season (2-2 WAC), while the Redhawks improve to 11-4 (2-0 WAC). UVU will continue its road trip on Saturday, Jan. 15 when they head to Riverside to take on the Cal Baptist Lancers, who are 10-5 (0-2 WAC). That game is scheduled to tip off at 8 p.m. MDT and can be streamed on ESPN+ or on the radio via ESPN 960.