Men’s basketball: UVU shocks BYU 114-101

PROVO, Utah—In its previous trip to the Marriott Center, the Utah Valley University men’s basketball team scored a total of 54 points. UVU matched that at the end of the first half as Brandon Randolph sunk a long 3-pointer at the buzzer in a 114-101 win over BYU Saturday.

Randolph was just shy of a triple-double and led UVU with 21 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds. Isaac Neilson, Conner Toolson and Jordan Poydras scored 26, 21 and 20 points each, respectively.

“This is a great win for us, it’s a great night, but have so much growing to do,” said head coach Mark Pope. “This won’t be the best moment that we have at Utah Valley. We still have so much work we have to do and we can become such a better team.”

Toolson knocked down the first field goal for UVU (4-1) with a 3-pointer from the left wing. The basket sparked a streak of nine straight 3-pointers from UVU. The hot streak included back-to-back 3-pointers at the top of the arc by Isaac Neilson, which prompted BYU head coach David Rose to call a timeout trailing for the first time 20-16. The barrage was capped by Poydras for a 31-20 lead with 10:50 to play in the half.

Despite the early 11-point deficit, the Cougars refused to go away. BYU made a furious comeback and cut the UVU lead to one behind a Nick Emery 3-pointer inside of one minute. On the ensuing UVU possession, T.J. Haws swiped the ball from Randolph at the top of the arc and led a fast break to the opposite end. Haws missed the layup, but Braiden Shaw tipped in the miss for a 52-51 lead.

As the crowd roared and time ran short after Shaw’s tip in, Randolph quickly dribbled across half court and banked in a deep 3-pointer as time expired. He then ran to the opposite end of the court with his finger to his lips quieting the BYU student section. UVU took a 54-52 lead into the break.

“It gave us the momentum,” said Randolph. “I turned over the ball two times, so I just wanted to make up those turnovers for my team. I let my team down those two times so I just wanted to get a decent shot up at the half. It wasn’t a decent one, it was a lucky one, but thank God it went in.”

Isaac Neilson (22) gives UVU a 17-16 lead over BYU with a 3-pointer at the Marriott Center on Nov. 26. Neilson finished with 26 points and nine rebounds. Photos by Jesse Sanchez.
Isaac Neilson (22) gives UVU a 17-16 lead over BYU with a 3-pointer at the Marriott Center on Nov. 26. Neilson finished with 26 points and nine rebounds. Photos by Jesse Sanchez.

Eric Mika came out of the halftime break and quickly tied the game at 54. Neilson gave UVU a 56-54 lead with a layup on the next possession and the Wolverines never trailed again.

Despite cooling down from long range in the first half, triples continued to rain for UVU in the second half to the tune of 6 for 15 and a total of 18 3-pointers on the night for a Marriott Center record.

BYU stayed close for most the second half, and got within two points on a jumper by Davin Guinn. However, Poydras answered two possessions later as he got a difficult off-balance layup to fall as he was fouled. He knocked down the ensuing free throw for a 78-73 UVU lead and sparked a 25-11 run over the next 6:28.

UVU coasted to victory as BYU attempted to cut the lead by forcing the Wolverines to the free-throw line. The Wolverines shot 8 for 11 from the free-throw line in the final two minutes of the game to complete the 114-101 shocker.

“It’s one of the greatest nights of my life,” said Neilson. “This means a lot to me and this means a lot to our team. Our whole mantra for this team is to shock the world and I think we did that tonight and I’m very proud of our guys and our coaching staff and for all that we did and we just hope to continue that the rest of this season.”

UVU is the first team to break the 100-point barrier and beat a Rose team at the Marriott Center. The 114-point win is also the most ever allowed by BYU on its home court.

The Wolverines hit the road for one more game before returning to the UCCU Center. UVU will travel to Pullman, Washington to play Washington State Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 8 p.m. MT.

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