Wolverines snap losing streak before long road trip
OREM, Utah—The Utah Valley University men’s basketball snapped a four game losing streak by ending a four-game home stand with a double overtime win over in-state rival Weber State 84-81 on Wednesday night at the UCCU Center.
The Wolverines were led by guard Jaden Jackson with 23 points, including three 3-pointers in the final two minutes of regulation and overtime. The Wolverines lost four players to fouls by the final horn, but a collective defensive effort put UVU on top in the end.
“We feel like we could have had those last three games we lost there at the end, so closing it tonight was big for us,” Jackson said. “We really focus on that and we put it all out there to finish this one up.”
After conceding a six-point first half lead, Andrew Bastien and Darrius Hamilton ran a defensive tag-team in an effort to contain NBA prospect Joel Bolomboy, who finished with 28 points and 20 rebounds.
Coming out of the halftime locker room, WSU played with patience and built an eight-point, 59-51 lead with 2:20 remaining in regulation. Marcel Davis and Jaden Jackson responded to the lead by scoring nine unanswered points and giving UVU a 60-59 lead with 24 seconds to play. WSU guard Jeremy Senglin then hit one of two free throws to send the game into overtime tied at 60-60.
The Wildcats got out to another seven-point lead in the extra period with 1:14 remaining, but Jackson responded again with a layup and 3-pointer on back-to-back possessions to cut the WSU lead to 69-67. Konner Frey tied the game with a layup off a Cory Cardwell steal with seven seconds to play to send the game into a second overtime with the score 69-69.
After falling behind 77-75 in the second overtime, Jackson hit another 3-pointer with 1:03 to play to give the Wolverines a 78-77 lead. UVU closed out the final period 4-of-4 from the field, then rode the free-throw line the rest of the way to an 84-81 victory.
“I’ve been in basketball a long time, as a player and a coach, and this ranks right up there in my favorite wins of all-time, this Utah Valley versus Weber State,” UVU head coach Mark Pope said. “Because we throw these words around all the time in terms of athletic form, but these guys showed so much courage and guts, in so many ways, I couldn’t be prouder of them.”
The Wolverines start a three-game road trip with the first stop in Pocatello against the Idaho State Bengals on Saturday, December 12 at 7 p.m. MT at Holt Arena.
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