Connor MacDougall scored a career-high 28 points and pulled down a career-high 10 rebounds to lead the Utah Valley University men's basketball team to its 19th straight home win in an 88-77 victory over Idaho State on Wednesday night at the UCCU Center.
"I'm super proud of the guys," said Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope. "It's hard to get 19 in a row, and it was hard tonight against a team that's really good; a team that is hard to guard because they shoot the ball so well. We grinded out the win. It wasn't beautiful, but those messy wins sometimes have special moments."
MacDougal set a UVU single-game field goal percentage record as he knocked down a perfect 12-of-12 shots from the floor. The 12-for-12 shooting overtakes Mitch Bruneel who previously held the field goal mark in an 8-for-8 performance against UTRGV on March 13, 2014. It also marks the second-best mark in the country behind only Levi Bradley of Northern Illinois, who made a perfect 13-of-13 shots against Oakland on Nov. 25.
"This guy (MacDougall) has sacrificed everything for this team," said Pope. "He's had games where he hasn't had a lot of opportunity to contribute...and then he sets an all-time record in Utah Valley history. It's probably going to stand for a long, long time."
Tied 8-8, Idaho State went on a 9-2 run in just 1:14 to jump out to a 17-10 lead with 11:57 to play in the first half. The Bengals then jumped out to a 10-point, 29-19, lead with 6:39 left. Utah Valley then came alive as the team went on a 16-2 run during a four-minute span to take a 35-31 advantage with 1:28 remaining. The Wolverines took a 40-33 lead into the break.
Utah Valley scored the first five points of the second half to extend its lead to 14 points, 47-33, with 17:47 to play. Idaho State countered with a 15-4 run of its own to cut the UVU lead to just three points, 51-48, with 12:48 remaining. UVU bounced right back with a 15-4 run in five minutes to take back a 14-point, 66-52, advantage with 7:43 left to play. UVU then outscored Idaho State, 25-22, the rest of the way to secure the 88-77 victory.
The 28-point, 10-rebound performance is MacDougall's first double-double of the season. He also tallied two steals, one block and an assist. Jake Toolson scored 18 points on a 5-of-7 clip from the floor and knocked down a perfect 8-of-8 shots at the free-throw line.
Ben Nakwaasah scored 11 points with a game-high seven assists. He also had four rebounds on the night. Conner Toolson also scored 11 points to go along with five rebounds, four steals and one assist. Isaiah White was also in double figures with 10 points.Comment on this story
As a team, Utah Valley shot 55.6 percent (30-of-54) on the night despite going just 3-for-19 from beyond the arc. UVU knocked down 25-of-27 free throws on the night, including a perfect 17-of-17 in the second half. Idaho State shot 50 percent (27-of-54) from the field and knocked down 12 3-pointers. UVU outrebounded ISU, 33-23.
Gary Chivichyan led Idaho State with 23 points, while Brandon Boyd helped with 16.
Utah Valley now looks to pick up its 20th straight home win on Saturday against Sam Houston State. Tipoff at the UCCU Center is set for 2 p.m.