SEATTLE (ABC4 Sports) – For the first time in 11 years, Utah Valley has taken down a Pac-12 team.
Fardaws Aimaq and Le’Tre Darthard led the Wolverines past Washington Tuesday night, 68-52. UVU dominated most of the game, leading for 35 minutes and held the Huskies without a three pointer, marking the first time the Wolverines have held an opponent without a three pointer since 2007.
The win over Washington marks just the third Utah Valley win over a P6 team in school history and first since 2010 when they knocked off Oregon State.
The Wolverines head into WAC play with a 9-3 record, its best 12-game start to a season in school history. The Huskies fall to 5-5 on the year.
“I was really proud of our guys,” said Utah Valley men’s basketball head coach Mark Madsen. “We’ve had a lot of guys that have been battling illness and for our guys to go out there and battle, I was really proud of our guys gutted it out and got it done. It’s easy to coach when you have great players and I’m happy for our players.”
This is the second major victory for the Wolverines this season. UVU beat #12 BYU three weeks ago, 72-65.
Following a layup by the Huskies, Darthard hit a corner three to spark a 10-2 run by the Wolverines, giving UVU a 10-4 lead with 15:53 to go in the first half. Washington chipped away at the lead, using a 10-4 run to tie the game up at 14-14 with 11:40 to go in the half. Tim Ceaser hit a three from the corner to put Utah Valley back and the Wolverines held Washington without a field goal for seven minutes, extending the lead to 23-16 with 4:53 remaining in the opening half. The Huskies ripped off a 9-0 run to retake the lead, 25-23, with 2:06 to go in the half. Tim Fuller and Trey Farrer hit a pair of layups and Connor Harding hit a three as UVU closed the half on a 7-4 run, taking a 30-27 lead into the half.
Aimaq helped Utah Valley off to a quick start as the Wolverines extended its lead to 35-27 three minutes into the second half. Washington used an 8-4 run to cut the lead down to 39-35, but Darthard hit a pair of threes to spark a 15-4 surge to put UVU up, 54-39, with 7:49 to go in the game. The Huskies made a final push, cutting the lead to 56-47, but Ceaser hit another corner three and Aimaq hit seven free throws down the stretch to ice the game, giving the Wolverines the 68-52 victory.
Aimaq dominated in the second half, finishing with his NCAA-leading 10th double-double. Aimaq tallied 15 points to go along with 15 rebounds, climbing into fourth all-time in rebounds in UVU history. Darthard followed up his career high with a team-high 16 points on 3-5 from downtown. Darthard saw his streak of 22-straight made free throws come to an end before making three straight foul shots.
Fuller chipped in 10 points and six rebounds while Blaze Nield added eight points and a game-high five assists. Ceaser tallied 10 points off the bench on 4-5 from the field and a pair of triples.
The Wolverines shot 44 percent from the field, including 8 of 22 from deep, and 14 of 19 from the charity stripe. UVU limited UW to just 35 percent from the floor and 0-for-11 from downtown, marking the first time the Huskies have failed to make a three since 2019. Utah Valley won the rebounding battle, 44-26, leading to a 15-9 advantage in second-chance points. The Wolverines dished out 12 assists while limiting Washington to just two assists.
The Wolverines return home for a three-game home stand to open up WAC play, starting with a matchup with conference-newcomer Abilene Christian on Thursday, Dec. 30, at 6:00 p.m. MT.