Wolverines rally, defeat Tarleton State 69-56

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Behind a dominant performance from Fardaws Aimaq, the Utah Valley men’s basketball team rallied to a 69-56 victory over the Tarleton Texans Wednesday, Feb. 16 in front of an electric crowd at the Wisdom Gym in Stephenville, Texas. 

Aimaq had 22 points, going 9-of-14 from the field, as well as 20 rebounds and three blocks. Daws now has 22 double-doubles on the season, which is top in the nation. Aimaq was named WAC Player of the Week last week for the fourth time this season, and is starting to gain national recognition from more national media outlets thanks to a campaign from the UVU athletic department.

Blaze Nield added 12 points with three treys, and Tim Fuller added another 10. Connor Harding was active on both ends of the floor with nine points and seven rebounds.

UVU out-rebounded the Texans 45-21, but 21 turnovers helped keep Tarleton in the game through most of the second half.

The Wolverines jumped out to a hot start in the first half, leading by as many as 13. Nield connected on two threes in the opening five minutes to help push UVU out to a 24-11 lead, but the Wolverines couldn’t hold onto the ball. 10 turnovers helped let the Texans back into the game, with the game being knotted up at 35 at halftime. 

Tarleton kept things close starting the half, taking the lead at 38-37, but the Wolverines took the lead right back and never gave it up. Jaden McClanahan and Harding combined for 13 points to help push UVU to the victory. 

As we get closer and closer to the WAC tournament in March, every game is a must-win game as the Wolverines try to go on a run and make their first-ever NCAA tournament. UVU is keeping pace with Abilene Christian for sixth place in the conference, but the Wolverines want to get up to fourth place to receive a double-bye into the quarterfinals.

The Wolverines have a tough road ahead, with three of the final five games against teams ahead of them in the WAC standings, but that also means they will have plenty of chances to move up as #WACVegas approaches. 

UVU returns to Utah to take on the Dixie State Trailblazers on Saturday, Feb. 19, in St. George in the Old Hammer Rivalry. Saturday’s game is scheduled to tip-off at 7 p.m. MT and will be broadcast on ESPN+ and ESPN 960.