Utah Valley basketball stellar second half propels them to victory

Utah Valley basketball stellar second half propels them to victory

by Connor Dee

With a layup by Joel Murray in the final seconds of the half, it was Long Beach State that narrowly took the lead going into the break. The one point deficit seemed to inspire Utah Valley, leading them to an impressive second half run and an 88-78 victory at home.

It was the seven foot big man, Aziz Bandaogo, that sparked the Wolverines right from the get-go. An agile euro-step, for any sizable individual, got Bandaogo to the hoop for an easy basket and a one point lead. It was the first of many flashy plays to come throughout the second half.

With just over thirteen minutes to play, Bandaogo added a defensive highlight to his reel with an emphatic block, sparking the Wolverines into transition. Blaze Nield found a streaking Trey Woodbury who threw down an even more emphatic dunk to give Utah Valley a seven point lead.

With less than three minutes to play, Long Beach State’s Lassina Traore cashed in a layup. Utah Valley, whose lead climbed to 15 just minutes before, clung to a six point advantage. The Wolverines ensuing possession was a big one and required good execution. Superior ball movement and spacing led to Justin Harmon finding a wide open Le’Tre Darthard for the game clinching three.

The Utah Valley Wolverines walked away happy after knocking down their free throws to seal the victory. The big man Bandaogo recorded a double double (13 points and 11 rebounds), and three Utah Valley starters finished with over 19 points. Darthard led the team with 25. Utah Valley finished with 24 team assists to Long Beach State’s 11 and improved to 3-0 at home. On Wednesday, the Wolverines face in-state rival BYU in what will be a tough test down the road.

Featured image via Utah Valley University Athletics

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