The Utah Valley men’s basketball team lost to Dixie State on Feb. 13, by a final score of 93-89.
The Wolverines split their home series with DSU after winning 87-72 the night before.
UVU and junior guard Trey Woobury got off to a fast start, as Woodbury had seven points early in the first half. At one point the Wolverines were shooting 64% from the field, and the team was getting a lot of shots close to the basket.
One of the highlights of the first half came when graduate forward Evan Cole had a chasedown block that went out of bounds. The Wolverines first 3-pointer of the game came with nine minutes left in the half, as sophomore guard Colby Leifson came off the bench and hit back-to-back 3’s. UVU was able to lead for most of the first half and led by as much as seven points.
Midway through the half, the Wolverines started to turn the ball over, which led to a 12-2 run by DSU to give them a three point advantage over UVU. Senior guard Jamison Overton started to come alive as he scored eight of his ten first half points after the DSU run. Both teams started to trade the lead late in the half, as the Wolverines’ bench picked up a technical foul after they were called for a loose ball foul.
UVU trailed 47-46 at halftime. The Wolverines shot 57% percent from the field and had seven turnovers in the first half. The team also had eight offensive rebounds and 12 assists. Sophomore center Fardaws Aimaq had eight points and 13 rebounds, and Woodbury finished with nine points at the break.
Early in the second half, the Wolverines went on a three-minute scoring drought and found themselves down by double digits. The team trailed for most of the second half but began to show life late. UVU began to put pressure on DSU by full court pressing and playing higher up in their man-to-man defense. The defensive change helped the Wolverines force DSU into four straight turnovers in three minutes. UVU was able to cut the DSU lead to just three.
The Wolverines were forced to play the foul game in the last minute of regulation. UVU was able to get within two points, but they were unable to overcome the great free throw shooting of DSU, who shot 90% from the free throw line for the game. The Wolverines lost 93-89.
For the game, UVU shot 48% from the field and struggled shooting free throws going 67%. The Wolverine defense also struggled to slow down the Trailblazers, as the team shot 52%. The team was unable to take advantage of their 17 offensive rebounds.
Junior guard Blaze Neild led the Wolverines with seven assists. Woobury finished with 27 points and Overton added 17 points. Aimaq had 18 points and 25 rebounds, with 12 of them being offensive.
The Wolverines fall to 7-8 on the season and 5-2 in conference. The team’s next game is on Friday, Feb. 19, on the road against New Mexico State. The game will be aired on the WAC Digital Network and ESPN 960 AM.