A 20-point, 11-rebound double-double from Akolda Manyang pushed Utah Valley's win streak to three games, as it defeated Eastern Oregon, 97-52, on Monday night at the UCCU Center.
As a team, UVU shot 60.3 percent from the field, including a 39.1 percent clip from long range. The Wolverines doubled EOU's rebound total, 50-25, and they also held the Mountaineers to 29.2 percent shooting on the night. Five different players scored in double figures for the Wolverines.
"This was functional for us in that it was a chance for us to catch our breath a little bit and play some guys I haven't been able to get on the floor because games have been so hard," said UVU head coach Mark Pope. "I was proud of the way we started the game with our defensive mentality. Now we move ahead and have an incredibly difficult game against the defending Big Sky champs at their place in North Dakota. I'm excited about where we are and grateful that we got through this healthy."
Utah Valley got off to a hot start offensively behind threes from Kenneth Ogbe and Conner Toolson. Manyang also helped UVU with five rebounds in the first four minutes of the game, and the Wolverines used an 11-2 run to create separation from Eastern Oregon early and take a 13-point lead.
Ogbe continued his hot start by adding two more 3-pointers, and Manyang scored eight-straight points to keep Utah Valley rolling. A 13-0 run later in the half aided UVU in taking a 57-24 lead into the break. Manyang and Ogbe led all scorers in the half with 14 and 13, respectively. Ogbe was a perfect 5-of-5 from the field, and Manyang pulled down seven rebounds. BYU transfer Cory Calvert registered his first points in a UVU uniform during the first half.
Manyang and Ogbe continued to lead the attack for Utah Valley out of the gate in the second half, and Jake Toolson got in on the action with four quick points. Isaac Neilson also scored six straight at one point to help fuel the second-half attack.
The Wolverines used runs of 9-0 and 11-0 to help put away the game. Richard Harward joined Calvert in scoring the first points of his career, while Calvert pushed his point total to 11 for the night.
While Manyang's double-double led Utah Valley, Obge and Neilson pitched in 16 and 15 points, respectively. Jake Toolson was just three rebounds shy of a double-double himself, as he finished the night with 11 points and seven boards. Conner Toolson led all players in assists on the night with six, and he also added nine points.
Next up for the Wolverines is a quick trip up to Grand Forks, North Dakota, to take on reigning Big Sky Conference champion North Dakota on Saturday, Nov. 25. Tipoff is at 1 p.m. MT, and a radio play-by-play can be heard on ESPN 960 AM. Following the road trip, UVU returns to the UCCU Center for three-straight home games, the first of which is against in-state rival BYU. Tickets can be purchased online or at the UCCU Center box office.