EDINBURG, Texas (ABC4 Sports) – Le’Tre Darthard scored a game-high 19 points and Aziz Bandaogo recorded a double-double with a career-high 18 points and 16 rebounds to lead Utah Valley to a 75-61 road win at UT Rio Grande Valley on Saturday night at the UTRGV Fieldhouse.
Utah Valley improves to 13-4 overall and extends its win streak to 10 games—the fifth-longest win streak in the nation. The Wolverines also improve to a perfect 4-0 in WAC play. The 10-game win streak is the second-longest in UVU’s full status Division I history.
“We had so many individual performances tonight,” said Utah Valley head coach Mark Madsen. We had two guys flirting with a triple double. It was a pure team effort if you look at what we did defensively. We held their leading scorer to 3-of-22 shooting. I was really pleased with what we did defensively.”
The Wolverines led by as many as 11 points in the first half and took a 36-31 lead into halftime. The second half was close as the Vaqueros never led but got within three points on several occasions. UTRGV got as close as seven points, 65-58, with three minutes to go, but UVU scored 10 of the final 14 points to secure the 75-61 win.
Darthard scored his game-high 19 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the floor, including a 4-of-7 clip from beyond the arc. He also connected on 3-of-3 shots at the free throw line. Darthard also pulled down three rebounds.
Bandaogo scored his career-high 18 points on a 7-of-9 clip from the floor and a perfect 4-of-4 mark from the charity stripe. He pulled down 14 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season and tallied a career-high six blocks.
Justin Harmon was also in double figures with 14 points with a career-high 10 assists for his first career double-double. He also had five rebounds and a pair of steals. Harmon knocked down 5-of-10 shots from the floor and was a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line.
An alley-oop lob from Harmon to Bandaogo gave the Wolverines a 10-2 lead to open the game. UTRGV then got back within two points, 12-10, but a 9-3 UVU run then extended the lead to 11 points, 21-10, with 9:21 to play in the half. The Wolverines held on to a 10-point, 32-22 lead with three minutes remaining in the half. UTRGV then outscored UVU 9-4 over the final three minutes to cut the UVU lead to a 36-31 advantage at the half.
UTRGV cut the UVU lead to just three points on three occasions over the first six minutes of the second half as UVU held a 44-41 advantage with 13:28 to play. The Wolverines led by only five points, 58-53, with 4:45 to go, but a pair of Darthard free throws and a three-pointer got the lead back into double figures, 65-55, with three minutes to go. UVU then outscored the Vaqueros 10-6 over the final three minutes to secure the 75-61 win.
As a team, Utah Valley shots 94.4 percent from the free throw line, connecting on 17-of-18 shots. UVU shot 46.4 percent (26-56) from the field and 30 percent (6-20) from three-point range. UVU held UTRGV to 31.8 percent (21-66) shooting from the field and 29.2 percent (7-24) from long range.
The Wolverines will continue WAC road play on Wednesday at California Baptist (10-7, 2-2). Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. (MT). Utah Valley will then return home to play Seattle U on Saturday, Jan. 14.