Wolverines top Pepperdine 86-74 in OT thriller

Connor Harding steps back and hits the go-ahead three to send the game to OT (Photo courtesy of UVU Athletics).

The Utah Valley Wolverines defeated Pepperdine University on Monday, Nov. 15 by a score of 86-74. As the clock winded down and the Wolverines found themselves down three, Connor Harding hit a step back three-pointer just before the end of regulation to send the game to overtime.

Fardaws Aimaq led the way for the Wolverines with a double-double, netting 34 points grabbing 14 rebounds. Harding also had a big game on the offensive end with 18 points and four rebounds. Justin Harmon also chipped in 14 points.

Utah Valley made a statement early right off the tip. The Wolverines jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead but the Waves quickly battled back, taking the lead at 13-11. The Wolverines then trailed for most of the first half, with the deficit reaching as many as ten. Heading into the halftime break, the Wolverines were down 39-33. Despite being in a hole, the Wolverines shot a blistering 60 % from the three-point line in the first half and a respectable 47% from the field. 

Coming out in the second half the Wolverines continued to trail, going down by as many as 12 to the Waves. With 10 minutes to go, Harmon hit a three-pointer that ignited a 10-0 run for the Wolverines, closing the gap to just two. Down six with a minute and a half left, the Wolverine offense turned to Aimaq, who hit a huge layup to close the gap to four. Tim Fuller would then go 1-2 from the FT line, making it a one possession game heading into the final seconds. After the Waves missed multiple opportunities to put the game away, the Wolverines found themselves with the ball down three. The ball inbounded to Harding, who dribbled across the top of the key before stepping back on the left wing and burying a three with one second left to send the game to overtime.

The Wolverines continued to shoot well in the second half, going 50% from the field and 55% from behind the arch. The Wolverine defense stepped up big, holding the Waves to just 35% shooting in the second half after the team scorched UVU in the first half shooting 60% from the field.

In overtime the Wolverines dominated, shooting 80% and going on an insurmountable 15-3 run. It was all UVU from the tip of the final period and the Wolverines closed the book on Pepperdine 86-74. 

The Wolverines will now travel to Long Beach State University to face-off against the Beach on Wednesday, Nov. 17. The game tips-off at 8 p.m. MT and can be streamed on ESPN+.

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