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Utah Valley advances to WAC semifinal with 65-53 win over Seattle U

Mar 09, 2017 07:25PM
Jordan Poydras scored 15 points and Ivory Young added 11 to lead the fourth-seeded Utah Valley University men's basketball team to a 65-53 win over No. 5 Seattle U in the quarterfinals of the WAC Tournament on Thursday afternoon at Orleans Arena.

Utah Valley (15-15) advances to the semifinals to take on top-seeded CSU Bakersfield on Friday at 6 p.m. PT/7 p.m. MT. It marks the second time in UVU history that the Wolverines have advanced to the semifinals of the WAC Tournament. The only other time UVU played a semifinal matchup was in 2014 when the Wolverines dropped a 74-69 decision to Idaho.

"I'm proud of our guys," said Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope. "This Seattle team has just been a thorn in our side for the last two years. The way they play is a really hard matchup for what we do. They are really disciplined. This 3-2 zone is great at guarding the three-point line. I'm proud of my guys for overcoming all of that. We had a great effort. All of our guys were really engaged and were really courageous on the glass. We've talked about hitting the offensive glass for the past two weeks and how important it was for us to try and exploit their zone that way. We're excited to move on and face our next challenge."

Trailing 9-7 just five and a half minutes into the game, Utah Valley went on a 9-0 run over a four-minute span to take a 16-11 lead with 10:20remaining in the half. The Wolverines led by as many as eight points, 25-17, with 5:51 left to play in the half but SU out scored UVU 13-7 the rest of the way to cut the UVU lead to just two points, 32-30, at the half.

After playing even through the first 12 minutes of the second half, UVU took a 48-41 lead on a pair of Young three-pointers with 8:51remaining. Seattle U's Matej Kavas responded with a three on the other end to cut the UVU lead to four points, 48-44, with 8:37 to play. Utah Valley answered with a 9-2 run over the next six minutes to secure take a double-digit, 57-46, lead with two minutes to go. The Wolverines then held on to the lead to secure the 65-53 win.

Poydras scored his team-high 15 points on 4-of-12 shooting, including a pair of shots from long range. The senior also knocked down 5-of-8 shots from the charity stripe. Poydras pulled down four rebounds and dished out a team-high three assists.

Young connected on 3-of-6 shots from the field, including a pair from three-point range for his 11 points. He also made 3-of-4 free throws on the day. Brandon Randolph was also in double figures with 10 points, knocking down 8-of-12 free throws. Randolph also pulled down six rebounds to go along with four steals and two assists.

Andrew Bastien led Utah Valley on the boards with a season-high 10 rebounds with five points and a block. Hayden Schenck led UVU with a game-high five steals. Zach Nelson had eight rebounds with seven points, while Conner Toolson and Kenneth Ogbe also recorded seven points.

Utah Valley connected on 36.7 percent (18-of-49) of its shots from the field, including a 19.4 percent (6-of-31) mark from long range. Seattle U shot 39.3 percent (22-of-56) from the field with a 27.3 percent (6-of-22) clip from beyond the arc.

The Wolverines out-rebounded Seattle U 46-26 and outscored the Redhawks 30-18 on the bench.

William Powell led Seattle U with 16 points. Brendan Westendorf and Matej Kavas each helped with 14 apiece.

Utah Valley continues play at the WAC Tournament on Friday against No. 1 seed CSU Bakersfield, which received a first-round bye at the event. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. PT/7 p.m. MT at the Orleans Arena. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN3. The matchup will also be broadcast on ESPN 960 AM radio.