Wolverines pick up 22nd win of season, defeat ACU 66-62

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Utah Valley University (22-7, 13-3 WAC) went on the road in their second game of the week to face Abilene Christian University (13-15, 6-10 WAC). The Wolverines came out on top to win their 22nd game of the season, defeating the Wildcats 66-62. They remain in 1st place in the Western Athletic Conference.  

UVU had three players in double figures as Le’Tre Darthard led the way with 18 points, three steals and three assists. Justin Harmon was a big help scoring 12 points, shooting 45% from the field. Aziz Bandaogo also came up huge with 10 points including a dunk in the late stagesthe game to secure the win.

The Wildcats got off to a hot start forcing four turnovers and knocking down back-to-back shots that sparked a 9-1 run. UVU struggled to gain any momentum as they turned the ball over six times in the first seven minutes of the game. 

It took about five minutes for The Wolverines to score their first field goal of the night, asTim Fuller came up with a great block that led to a Hampton layup on the other end. They were able to put together a 12-4 run over the next eight minutes which put them within one point of ACU. Arion Simmons scored the last points of the half for the Wildcats by hitting a shot with 20 seconds to go that extended their lead to three going into the break.

Bandaogo was a force in the first half with crucial rebounds and an alley-oop slam that helped the Wolverines gain momentum coming out into the second half.

UVU caught fire to start the second half mounting a 9-0 run as Harmon hit a corner three, then a fastbreak layup on back-to-back possessions to take their first lead of the night. Both teams continued to go at it and were exchanging buckets until ACU regained the lead with 4:05 left in the 2nd half.

Trey Woodbury was clutch for the Wolverines to close out the game as he knocked down two tough jumpers down the stretch to extend the lead to six and despite a four-point play by ACU’s Immanuel Allen with 20 seconds to go. The Wolverines went on to win 66-62. 

Utah Valley improves to 22-7 on the season and 13-3 in Conference play. They remain the #1 seed in the WAC and will close out their regular season next week as they will host UT Arlington, Wednesday, March 1st  at 5 p.m MT and then Stephen F. Austin, Friday, March 3rd. at 6 p.m MT Both games will air live and can be streamed on ESPN+.