Allen’s 14 leads Utah Valley over his former team 

Reading Time: 3 minutes Drake Allen was spectacular in UVU’s win over his former team Southern Utah, moving UVU to 8-7 on the season and 3-1 in WAC play.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Drake Allen, Utah Valley’s prized transfer portal get this last season, used a 16-point, four board and nine assist effort to lead the Wolverines over his former team, Southern Utah.  

The win gives Utah Valley its second straight win and its third win in WAC play and eighth of the season. 

UVU started the game quickly, focusing on attacking the paint due to the small-ball rotation of the Thunderbirds whose tallest player is only 6’9”. 

The first 10 of the Wolverines points came in the paint, with the next coming at the stripe, then went back to attacking the inside. 

Much like the game versus Cal Baptist, Utah Valley would score 22 of their first 23 points from the paint, establishing dominance with the height differential.  

One of the highlights of the first half was redshirt guard Zion Young of the Thunderbirds stealing the ball and putting Tanner Toolson on a poster with a mean dunk. 

Toolson wouldn’t be phased as he would start the first half strong with seven points on 3-3 shooting and three rebounds to lead UVU in both categories early. 

Allen, the former Thunderbird, would take a shot early to the face that resulted in him coming out of the game due to blood, he would return at the 10-minute mark for the Wolverines. 

The first shot outside of 13 feet for Utah Valley came from Caleb Stone-Carrawell who buried a transition three with seven minutes left in the half, which gave UVU a boost offensively after it stalled. 

But Southern Utah kept the pressure.  

Young would continue his great game, hitting back-to-back 3-pointers to tie the game up at 30, nearing the final media timeout of the half. 

A big storyline of this game was the missed opportunities for Utah Valley at the rim. 

K’mani Doughty dropped a wide-open pass that would’ve resulted in two points, then missed an alley-oop the next possession. 

After the timeout, Stone-Carrawell missed two shots back-to-back at the rim which left more points on the board. 

Doughty made up for his missed alley-oop, lobbing one up for Allen who laid it in. 

The Wolverines, however, couldn’t get much separation from the Thunderbirds. 

Young would hit another three, this time resulting in an and-one, trimming the lead to 35-34 with a minute to go in the half. 

Southern Utah would go on an 8-0 run over the last 1:11 of the half to take a 38-35 lead going into the second half. 

To start half number two, Southern Utah showed the Wolverines a press defense, which meant UVU would have to adapt in more ways than one to pull out the conference win. 

Allen would show his former team what else he can do, taking a ball coast-to-coast, sinking the bucket with the foul to tie the game at 44 with 15:47 to go in the game. 

UVU would take the lead, but the game would remain close. 

Southern Utah would have nine fouls in just the first 9:25 of the half, giving UVU an opportunity to keep attacking the rim to pick up more points in the bonus.  

Utah Valley would take their largest lead of the game up to this point at 10 with 8:14 to go, trying to extend their cushion more and more.  

Despite the lead, SUU would not go down without a fight. 

Trimming the lead to six with five minutes to go, Utah Valley would have to rely on its veterans to put this game away. 

And UVU did just that. 

Allen would hit three free throws, then back-to-back transition layups to suddenly put UVU ahead by 12 points with 3:24 to go in the game, prompting a SUU timeout. 

Utah Valley would dominate the last three minutes, taking an 18-point lead to close the game. 

The 80-62 final score was the third time that UVU has reached the 80-point threshold, despite hitting just two shots from beyond the arc. 

“We really stepped on the gas the last four or five minutes. It was a good team win and we started sharing the ball,” Toolson said. “It was fun.” 

Trevin Dorius finished with 14 points and nine rebounds including a 21 in the +/- category which led the team. 

Caleb Stone-Carrawell continued his great season with 17 points to lead all scorers with five rebounds and three assists on 7-14 shooting. 

Toolson was also aggressive on the stat sheet, recording 14 points and seven rebounds.\ 

“Defense, defense, defense and then we score 80 points. We rebounded the ball well and made them take tough shots, we are climbing that mountain and playing good basketball,” head coach Todd Phillips said. “We aren’t there yet but I am proud of the things I saw tonight.” 

It is a great win for Utah Valley who has been looking to turn the tide after losing five of seven at the end of the non-conference season. The Wolverines are 3-1 in WAC play and will have a gauntlet of a schedule the rest of January. 

They’ll hit the road for three straight road games versus UT Arlington, UTRGV, and WAC-leader Grand Canyon before returning home to face Utah Tech who UVU fell to earlier this year in St. George.