LAS VEGAS — No. 2 seed Utah Valley trailed from the get-go and couldn't finish off a rally in falling to No. 3 seed Grand Canyon 75-60 in the WAC tournament semifinals at Orleans Arena on Friday night.
Turning point: UVU went on a 16-3 run over nearly eight minutes to force its way back in the game in the second half, cutting Grand Canyon's 48-31 lead to 51-47.
The Wolverines then had a chance to cut it to a one-point game, but a Jerrelle DeBerry 3 rimmed out and Grand Canyon's Josh Braun was fouled on a 3-point attempt on the ensuing possession. He made all three to push the lead back to 56-49, and Grand Canyon regained control of the game.
The heroes: Alessandro Lever scored 15 points, had seven rebounds and hit three straight 3-pointers in the first half for Grand Canyon, while teammate Josh Braun added 15 points and six rebounds.
Akolda Manyang paced the Wolverines with 18 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots.
- Both teams struggled from 3-point range, as UVU made 3 of 19 from long distance to Grand Canyon's 6 of 16. But the Lopes were efficient in the first half from 3, making 5 of 8.
- The Lopes outrebounded the Wolverines 46-36 and had 13 assists to six for UVU.
- Grand Canyon made 6 of 8 shots from the field during an 18-2 first-half run that put the Lopes ahead 27-9. Grand Canyon shot 43.1 percent from the field in the game, while UVU shot 35.5 percent.
UVU almanac: 22-10, Lost 1
Up next: Postseason play, TBD