Utah Valley Men’s Basketball Knocked Out Of NIT Tournament By UAB Blazers

Mar 28, 2023, 10:02 PM

LAS VEGAS – The Utah Valley Wolverines men’s basketball team faced off against the UAB Blazers in the NIT Tournament semifinals on Tuesday.

The Wolverines last game was a 6-point win over the Cincinnati Bearcats in the NIT quarterfinals. The Blazers beat the Vanderbilt Commodores in their last game by 8 points.

The winner of the match will go on to face North Texas in the championship game on Thursday, March 30.

First Half

The Blazers came out of the gates running. They forced 3 turnovers and jumped out to a 8-0 lead.

UAB’s Ty Brewer scored 6 points on 3/3 shooting.

Aziz Bandaogo broke the seal for Utah Valley with a high-flying alley-oop slam.

UVU picked up the energy on defense and strung together some stops. However, the offensive struggles continued.

Utah Valley shot 3/14 to start the game. UAB shot 4/13.

With ten minutes left in the half, Brewer threw down a putback slam to give UAB a 10-point lead, 22-12.

Brewer carried the load for UAB in the first half.

The Wolverines had a more balanced offensive attack. Five UVU players had 5 or more points at halftime.

Bandaogo threw down another powerful dunk with three minutes left in the half.

Utah Valley brought the game all the way back but couldn’t take a lead.

They trailed by four at the half, 41-37.

Second Half

It was all defense early in the second half.

After Justin Harmon scored on a floater, Bandaogo got the crowd going with a make from behind the arc.

Trey Woodbury turned up the aggression after halftime.

He attacked the rim and got two and-ones to go in a span of three minutes.

Tim Fuller gave Utah Valley its first lead of the game with 8 minutes left in regulation.

Bandaogo threw down a two-hand dunk despite a swarm of UAB defenders.

With two minutes left in the game, the score was tied at 70.

The teams went back and forth on two straight possessions to tie the game at 74 with only 25 seconds on the clock.

A hectic final possession resulted in three UAB shot attempts but none of them found the bottom of the net.

Overtime In Vegas

UAB’s Eric Gaines hit a three to give the Blazers a lead.

Utah Valley got a stop on three straight possessions which led to the Wolverines tying the game at 83 with a minute left.

Brewer hit a heavily contested mid-range jumpshot to regain the lead. The shot also gave him 30 points for the game.

UAB played stifling defense on the following possession and forced a shot clock violation. This resulted in UVU fouling off the inbound.

Le’Tre Darthard hit a corner three with three seconds left to drop the lead to one.

After another foul, UVU couldn’t hit the last second three. UAB advances to the championship game with a narrow 2-point victory, 88-86.

Chandler Holt is a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter at @ChandlerHoltKSL.

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Utah Valley Men’s Basketball Knocked Out Of NIT Tournament By UAB Blazers