Photo by Brigham Berthold
RIVERSIDE, California—The UVU men’s basketball team beat the University of California- Riverside 73-64 Wednesday night behind 16 points from Conner Toolson. Zach Nelson also grabbed nine rebounds and the Wolverines marked their second straight victory and first against a Division I opponent in its last five tries.
Toolson, a sophomore transfer from Salt Lake Community College, went 6-of-11 from the field including four 3-pointers. Kenneth Ogbe added 14 points and three treys of his own. Brandon Randolph and Isaac Neilson scored 13 points and 12 points, respectively to round out four Wolverine scorers with double figures.
“I thought we played tough,” Randolph said. “We turned over the ball quite a lot in the first half but we managed to pull it together and we also got defensive stops which turned the game around for us.”
The Wolverines trailed by six points with 7:51 to play in the first half 17-23 after a field goal by UC’s Brandon Rosser. The Highlanders kept the game close down the stretch despite UVU taking the lead for the final time with 6:45 remaining in the first half.
“We had gone away from what got us the lead and that was getting stops on the defensive end,” Randolph said. “So we gutted up and did what got us the lead and what we need to know is that defense wins games.”
UVU shot 44.4 percent from the field with 13 successful 3-pointers. The Wolverines attempted 34 shots from beyond the arc in the game totaling a 38 percent clip. UVU committed just 13 turnovers in what turned out to be a clean showing.
UVU will remain in southern California where it will play the University of California-Davis on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 3 p.m. MST.
Ty Bianucci is a life-long fan of the San Francisco Giants, 49ers and Golden State Warriors who started on the sports beat for The Review, but now contributes investigative stories. He, along with two of his colleagues, were awarded the Sunshine Award in 2018 by the Society of Professional Journalists.