r Jordan Poydras scored 17 points and Zach Nelson added 14 to lead the Utah Valley University men’s basketball team to a two-game road sweep with an 88-68 win over UT Rio Grande Valley on Saturday night at the UTRGV Fieldhouse.
Utah Valley improves to 13-15 overall and 5-8 in WAC play. UTRGV falls to 10-20 overall and 2-11 in league play.
The win marks the team’s first-ever road sweep of New Mexico State and UTRGV since the Wolverines joined the WAC. UVU defeated NM State 84-72 on Thursday night. It marks the first time that any team in the WAC has swept the NM State/UTRGV road series.
“Thursday was so emotional that it would have been really easy for our guys not to be focused tonight,” said Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope. “They came out incredibly focused and with great force. They played with a ton of passion and a lot of energy and executed well enough to win. I’m really proud of these guys.”
Trailing 4-2 just over a minute into the game, Utah Valley went on a 21-4 run over a seven and a half minute span to take a 23-8 lead with 11:20 remaining in the half. UTRGV responded with an 11-2 run of its own to cut the UVU lead to six points, 25-19, with7:26 let in the first period. UVU then out scored the Vaqueros 22-10 to take a 47-29 lead into the break.
Utah Valley extended its lead to as many as 27 points, 74-47, with 9:59 to play in the final period. UTRGV was not able to get any closer than 17 points as UVU was able to hold on to its first half lead to secure the 88-68 win.
Poydras scored his 17 points on a 5-of-10 clip from the field, including a 2-of-4 mark from long range. The senior guard also knocked down 5-of-6 free throws and dished out three assists with two rebounds.
Nelson registered his 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting, including a pair of threes. Nelson also hit 2-of-2 free throws. The junior forward pulled down a team-high seven rebounds with two assists and a block.
Ivory Young scored 13 points, while Conner Toolson and Kenneth Ogbe were also in double figures with 11 points apiece. Young pulled down five rebounds and dished out a team-high four assists. Toolson also pulled down five boards and tallied three assists with a steal.
As a team, Utah Valley shot an impressive 54.7 percent (29-of-53) from the field, including a 44.4 percent (8-of-18) mark from three-point range. The Wolverines held UTRGV to a 36.8 percent (25-of-68) clip from the floor, inlcuding a 28.0 percent (7-of-25) mark from three. UVU out-rebounded UTRGV 44-29 on the night and out-scored the Vaqueros 40-14 in the paint.
Antonio Green led UTRGV with a game-high 19 points while teammate Moe McDonald helped with 18.
Utah Valley will wrap up regular season play at home next week as the team hosts Seattle U on Saturday, March 4. Game time is set for 7 p.m. UVU will honor its departing seniors prior to tipoff.