LAS VEGAS—The Utah Valley University men’s basketball fell to the Missouri-Kansas City Kangaroos by a final of 80-78 in the first round of the WAC Tournament. The Wolverines had an opportunity to take the lead with a 3-pointer by Konner Frey with nine seconds to play, but the shot was off the mark and the ball was deflected out-of-bounds. UMKC was given possession with five seconds to go. Alex Carr committed a foul to send the Roos to the free-throw line for the final margin, and Cory Cardwell’s half-court heave missed left as time expired.
“Couldn’t be prouder of my guys for what they’ve become this year and what they’ve accomplished,” said UVU head coach Mark Pope.
Jaden Jackson led UVU with 19 points. Dayon Goodman followed with 18, and Frey contributed 15.
The Wolverines jumped out to a 44-31 lead at halftime after shooting 16-of-31 from the field and 6-of-14 from 3-point range. Goodman provided the highlight of the game with a slam dunk that shut off the shot clock with 9:53 to play in the half. Jackson closed the half with a buzzer beater to give the Wolverines a 13-point lead going into the locker room.
The Roos came out of the break with a full-court press that suffocated the Wolverines and forced eight turnovers in the second half. UMKC cut into the UVU lead and tied the game at 60 after a Davis turnover led to a LaVell Boyd 3-pointer.
UMKC matched their largest lead of four points with 2:11 to play after a Martez Harrison layup. Goodman brought UVU within one point with 50 seconds to play with a left-handed layup of his own. Alex Carr kept the Wolverines alive with a rebound off a Harrison miss, which set up Frey’s 3-pointer with nine seconds to play.
“It wasn’t drawn up specifically for me,” said Frey. “But, like a lot of our offense, things open up because we run it the right way… Couldn’t get it to fall.”
UVU finished their season with an overall record of 12-18.
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