Kenneth Ogbe scored a game-high 21 points to lead the Utah Valley University men's basketball team to an 80-71 win over reigning Big West Conference champion UC Davis on Saturday afternoon in the team's home opener at the UCCU Center.
Utah Valley improved to .500 on the season with a 2-2 record, while the Aggies suffered their first loss of the year and dropped to 2-1. With the win at Idaho State on Tuesday, UVU has now recorded back-to-back wins.
"I'm really proud of our guys. UC Davis is a championship team who won their conference last year and went to the NCAA tournament," said UVU head coach Mark Pope. "We knew this was going to be a really hard game, but the guys hung in there and we made some shots to come away with a big-time win."
The Wolverines used a balanced scoring attack on the afternoon with four players scoring in double figures. As a team, Utah Valley shot 49.1 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3-point range. UVU also went 14-of-16 from the foul line for an 87.5 percent clip.
Trailing 37-33 at the break, Akolda Manyang got UVU off to a quick start in the second half for the Wolverines with 12 points in the first five minutes. His burst, along with a three from Jake Toolson, helped UVU erase its halftime deficit and take a 50-44 lead at the 14:58 mark. Just more than a minute later, a three from Ogbe capped off a 10-0 run for Utah Valley.
Joe Mooney hit a pair of threes for UC Davis to keep them close and connected on a floater in the lane to even the score up at 58-58 around the nine-minute mark. Jake Toolson helped the Wolverines respond by hitting a layup and knocking down a pair of free throws from the charity stripe after a UC Davis technical foul.
Utah Valley then got a pair of clutch back-to-back 3-pointers from Conner Toolson as part of a 12-0 run. The run gave UVU a 70-58 advantage with 6:17 remaining in the game. The 12-point lead, which was the largest of the game, was ultimately too much for the Aggies to overcome.
The Wolverines used a deep three from Ogbe on a broken play and back-to-back dunks from Manyang and Randolph to ice the game and secure the win.
Ogbe led all scorers on the afternoon with 21 points behind a 3-of-4 clip from 3-point range and a perfect 4-of-4 from the charity stripe. Manyang pitched in 16 points and eight rebounds in the winning effort and was also a perfect 4-of-4 from the free-throw line. Jake Toolson was the third Wolverine to go 4-of-4 from the charity stripe on his way to scoring 13 points.
Conner Toolson scored 16 points on a game-high four 3-pointers, and Randolph had a solid all-around game with seven points, four rebounds and a game-high six assists.
Utah Valley will remain at home for its next matchup against Eastern Oregon on Monday, Nov. 20. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. MT, at the UCCU Center. Tickets can be purchased online or at the UCCU Center box office. The game will stream live on the WAC Digital Network, and radio play-by-play can be heard on ESPN 960 AM.