Wolverines withstand late comeback effort, defeat NAU 73-69

The Wolverines go 2-0 in their short home stand before heading to Winston-Salem, North Carolina to take on Wake Forest Tuesday.

Trey Woodbury scored a season-high 22 points (Photo courtesy of UVU Athletics).

The Utah Valley University men’s basketball team defeated Northern Arizona University 73-69 Saturday. Trey Woodbury scored a season-high for the Wolverines with 22 points, leading his team to victory.

Aziz Bandaogo tallied 13 points and 12 rebounds and Le’Tre Darthard scored 13 points in the win. UVU finished the day shooting 48% from the field and 43.5% from the three-point line. The Wolverine defense did its job, holding the Lumberjacks to 37% shooting. Bandaogo also tallied four blocks on the defensive end.

The Wolverines started the first half hot as Woodbury scored the game’s first six points, jumping out to a quick 6-0 lead. After conceding a three-pointer on the other end, the Wolverines rallied off a 9-0 run to take a commanding 15-3 lead in the half. UVU would maintain a double-digit lead for most of the first half from that point, with the lead growing as high as 14 points. In the driver’s seat, the Wolverines went into the break leading 43-31.

The Lumberjacks would not go down quietly as they battled their way back in the second half. As UVU struggled to put the ball in the basket offensively, NAU took advantage, going on a 16-2 run to cut the lead to just four midway through the half. The Wolverines could not contain the Lumberjacks from beyond the arch, allowing them to find their way back into this game and eventually tying the game at 54 with 8:53 to play. 

UVU reasserted control of the contest, jumping back ahead and claiming a 71-62 lead with 1:10 to play. However, the Lumberjack’s second-chance points almost proved disastrous for UVU as they hit a three-pointer after multiple offensive rebounds. After McClanahan went 1-2 from the free throw line on the other end, the Lumberjacks took it to the rim and scored, cutting the Wolverine lead to just five. McClanahan then turned the ball over resulting in two free throws for the Lumberjacks, bringing the score to 72-69 with two seconds remaining. Woodbury, would hit 1-2 free throws after the intentional foul by NAU to ice the game and allow the Wolverines to hold on to win 73-69.

Despite winning the contest, the Wolverines allowed 27 second-chance points, proving costly and almost allowing NAU a comeback victory. The Wolverines were also out-rebounded 41-34 despite possessing the height advantage over the Lumberjacks. That combined with 34 bench points from NAU made this game a little too close for comfort.

Completing their two-game home stand, the Wolverines travel to Winston-Salem, North Carolina to play Wake Forest on Tuesday. The game tips off at 5 p.m. MT and can be streamed on the ACCNX and ESPN+.

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