Men’s Basketball: Poor shooting night dooms UVU at WSU

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Photo by Brigham Berthold

The Utah Valley University men’s basketball team had a four-game win streak snapped when they visited Pullman, Washington Wednesday to take on Washington State University. The 83-76 loss puts UVU at 4-2 on the season. After setting a Marriott Center record with 18 3-point shots made against BYU Saturday, the Wolverines were unable to hit consistently from deep in this game, finishing 11-of-36 on 3-point shots, totaling just 30 percent.

On the other end, UVU had a tough time corralling Cougar guard Malachi Flynn, who drove into the paint seemingly at will and finished some spectacularly athletic layups. Flynn had a good shooting night as well, as he tallied 27 points on 14 shots. WSU forward Josh Hawkinson finished with a double-double with 12 points and 17 rebounds.

Flynn and Hawkinson combined for 23 points in the first half, contributing to a 49-31 halftime deficit for UVU. It was a half in which the Wolverines shot just 33 percent from the field to the Cougars’ 59 percent and lost the rebound battle 24-16.

Just a week after completing a 21-point comeback win in Denver, the Wolverines went to work on another come-from-behind effort and nearly matched the feat. With 30 seconds left in the game and trailing 79-76, UVU had a chance to tie on back-to-back 3-point shots from Brandon Randolph and Jordan Poydras, but couldn’t hit bottom. The Cougars iced the game with free throws and the final buzzer sounded.

Leading UVU was Kenneth Ogbe with 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including 5-of-8 from 3-point range. Joining Ogbe in double digit scoring were Isaac Neilson and Zach Nelson with 18 and 13, respectively. Particularly stricken with the shooting drought was Poydras. Coming off of back-to-back outputs of 20 points or more, he finished the game 0-of-12, including missing all seven of his shots from beyond the arc. Conner Toolson was also unable to hit from range, finishing 0-of-4 from 3 with just eight points on eight total shots.

The Wolverines will be back in action Dec. 3 when they return home to the UCCU Center to take on the University of Texas San Antonio. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. MT.