LAS VEGAS (ABC4 Sports) – Justin Harmon scored 23 points, while Trey Woodbury added 21, as the Utah Valley basketball team moved into the semifinals of the WAC Tournament with a 72-58 win over Tarleton Thursday night in Las Vegas.
The WAC regular season champion Wolverines will face Southern Utah in the semifinals Friday night at 9:30 p.m. The Thunderbirds edged Utah Tech Thursday night, 76-75.
With two more victories, Utah Valley will earn its first NCAA Tournament bid in school history.
“Everyone in our conference understands how talented and how tough Tarleton is and how well they are coached they are,” said Utah Valley head coach Mark Madsen. “I was proud of our guys for going out there and getting a win against a really good team.”
Harmon made 10 of 14 shots from the field, and also had three steals with two rebounds and an assist. Harmon was just one point shy of his career high 24 points set against BYU in 2021. as
UVU shot shot 54.2 percent on the game.
Aziz Bandaogo added 12 points and three blocks, while Le’Tre Darthard scored 11 for the Wolverines, who improved to 25-7 on the year.
Utah Valley led 34-27 at the half, and after the Texans closed the gap to 41-40 with 14:20 to play with to play, the Wolverines went on a 22-8 run to take control of the game.
Tarleton’s last lead was at 6-5, as UVU led the rest of the way.
Tim Fuller and Tim Ceaser didn’t score, but had a combined seven blocked shots for UVU. Utah Valley, which leads the nation in blocks, recorded 10 swats in all on the night.
UVU outrebounded Tarleton 37-26 and outscored Tarleton 32-22 in the paint.
Shamir Bogues led Tarleton with 11 points, as the UVU defense held the Texans to just 35.7 percent shooting. The Wolverines made 7 of 15 shots from three-point range, while Tarleton was just 2 of 9 from beyond the arc.
Utah Valley avenged a 77-58 loss to the Texans back on February 28th, the Wolverines only loss in its last ten games.
Top-seeded Sam Houston State and Grand Canyon will play in the other WAC Tournament semifinal on Friday at the Orleans Arena.