Utah Valley’s men’s basketball team ended their four-game losing streak on Friday, Jan. 8, with a 77-50 win over the California Baptist Lancers at the UCCU Center.
In their first conference game, the Wolverines have a 3-5 record overall (1-0 in WAC play) and the Lancers fall to .500 with a 3-3 record. CBU was selected to finish in fourth place in the WAC in a preseason poll of coaches.
Although the Lancers were the first team on the board, the Wolverines quickly took the lead back and led for the vast majority of the first half — they were up 45-27 at intermission. CBU went on a run to begin the second half — cutting UVU’s lead to 11 — but the Wolverines put their foot on the gas and pulled away for the remainder of the game.
The second half wasn’t without drama, though. Around the 16-minute mark, senior guard Jamison Overton got tangled up with CBU’s Te’Jon Sawyer under the basket and was thrown to the floor. Sophomore center Fardaws Aimaq ran to the defense of his teammate and a brief scuffle ensued. UVU head coach Mark Madsen was quick to run onto the court to pull his players away, screaming at them to return to the bench.
“I thought Cal Baptist did a good job to deescalate those emotions,” Madsen said after the game. “We know it’s an emotional game. Student athletes, they play with such fire.”
Aimaq was disqualified from the game with a technical foul but still finished the game with a double-double with 14 rebounds and 12 points. Overton led the team with 18 points on 8-of-14 shooting and junior guard Trey Woodbury also was in double-digits with 11.
The Wolverines will play their second of the back-to-back against CBU on Saturday, Jan. 9 at 6 p.m. MDT. The game will air on the WAC Digital Network and ESPN 960 AM.
Bridger Beal-Cvetko is a junior at Utah Valley University where he is studying journalism. He has been with The Review since 2019, where he has covered the UVU men’s basketball team and the softball team before becoming the Sports/Valley Life Editor. Bridger also covers the BYU football and basketball teams as a writing and producing intern for ESPN 960 Sports on KOVO 960 and espn960sports.com. Aside from sports, Bridger is an ardent cinephile, and writes reviews and commentary on films for his personal website.