We came in and did what we had to do. Our guys were really sharing the ball. —Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope
Brandon Randolph and Jake Toolson each scored 16 points to pace three other Wolverines in double figures to lead the Utah Valley University men's basketball team to an 84-72 win over UT Rio Grande Valley on Saturday night at the UCCU Center.
UVU picked up its 12th-straight home win and improves to 19-8 overall and 8-3 in WAC play. UTRGV falls to 14-14 overall and 5-6 in league play.
"I'm really proud of my guys," said Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope. "This UTRGV team is a really tough team. We knew they would come in here and battle. We were carrying over some fatigue from Thursday night's big game. We came in and did what we had to do. Our guys were really sharing the ball. We had 22 assists on 28 made baskets. That's really good."
Utah Valley took a 12-8 lead five minutes into the game and then used a 7-0 run to take an 11-point, 19-8, advantage at the 13:23 mark. UTRGV cut the lead to just five points, 29-24, with 6:19 remaining in the period. UVU went back up by 10 points, 36-26, with 4:34 left in the half, but the Vaqueros responded with eight unanswered points to cut the UVU lead to just two points, 36-34, with 1:34 to go. UVU then outscored UTRGV, 5-2, to take a 41-36 lead into the break.
The Wolverines opened the second half with seven unanswered points to take a 48-36 lead. A Jake Toolson layup gave UVU its largest lead of the game at 15 points, 61-46, with 11:46 remaining. UTRGV cut the UVU lead to just six points, 78-72, with 1:49 to play, but the Wolverines finished the game on a 5-0 run to secure the win.
Jake Toolson scored his 16 points on a 6-of-9 clip from the field, including a 1-of-2 mark from long range. He also was a perfect 3-of-3 at the free-throw line. Toolson also pulled down a game-high eight rebounds and dished out three assists with a block and a steal in 29 minutes of play.
Randolph connected on 5-of-12 shots from the field with a pair of threes. He also hit 4-of-5 shots at the charity stripe for his 16 points. The senior guard tallied a game-high six assists with one steal.
As a team, Utah Valley knocked down 51.9 percent (28-of-54) of its shots from the field. The Wolverines limited UTRGV to a 41.0 percent (25-of-61) mark from the field. UVU won the battle of the boards, 37-30.
Utah Valley now heads out on its final regular-season WAC road trip of the season as the team travels to play CSU Bakersfield on Feb. 22 and Grand Canyon on Feb. 24. UVU will then return to Orem for its final home game of the season on March 3, against Seattle U.
Jason Erickson works in the communications office at the Utah Valley University athletic department. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit GoUVU.com.