Fardaws Aimaq recorded a 23-point, 16-rebound double-double and Evan Cole added a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double to lead Utah Valley to an 81-77 win over California Baptist on Saturday night at the UCCU Center in Orem.
Leading by two points, 79-77, with eight seconds to go, Aimaq knocked down a pair of free throws to help secure the win as Utah Valley (4-5) completed the two-game sweep over CBU (3-4, 0-2) on back-to-back nights and improve to 2-0 in WAC play.
After falling behind 12-6 through the first five minutes of the game, Jamison Overton threw down a dunk that sparked a 13-3 UVU run over the next 4:21 to give the Wolverines a 19-15 lead with 10:46 to go in the first. CBU outscored the UVU 18-15 the remainder of the half as the two teams went into the break tied at 30-30.
California Baptist opened the second half with seven unanswered points to jump out to a 37-30 lead, but Cole responded with back-to-back 3′s and Overton converted a fast break layup to cut the CBU lead just one point, 39-38. The Wolverines then took the lead as Trey Woodbury made a driving layup, was fouled, and converted on the free throw to give UVU the 41-39 lead with 16:16 to play.
The Thunderbirds are now 9-1 on the season and undefeated in Big Sky play with a 4-0 mark.
After breaking the school record for consecutive victories on Thursday, the T-Birds extended that record to nine on Saturday.
For the second straight game the T-Birds jumped out to a sizable lead in the opening half, as they built their lead to as many as 12 and led by 10 at halftime.
Over the opening nine minutes of the second half the Vandals climbed back, and took a two point lead with 10:24 to play.
As the contest headed down the stretch, the Vandals hung around, but they put the Thunderbirds on the free-throw line twice in the span of a minute with two technical fouls. The T-Birds took advantage, and increased their lead to double digits.
As the closing seconds ticked off the clock the T-Birds built up to their highest lead of the night, and claimed a 16-point victory at home.
Tevian Jones finished the game as SUU’s leading scorer, as he hit 6 of 11 3-pointers and dropped in 30 points.
The Lancers (10-0, 2-0) stayed perfect on the season and swept the WAC-opening weekend series between the teams.
Josie Williams and Maria Carvalho shared game-high honors with 14 points apiece to lead the Wolverines (2-3, 0-3), while Nehaa Sohail finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds, two blocks and three steals.
Ane Olaeta and Sydney Palma had 12 points apiece for CBU.
“Our effort, especially on the defensive end, was much better today and I thought we got some good looks offensively,” said UVU coach Dan Nielson. “We have a lot to clean up and we’re not happy with the result, but we did see some positives to build on for next week.”
Madelyn Eaton was the leading scorer for the Thunderbirds with 15 points. She also had five steals on the night. Liz Graves was the only other T-Bird in double digits with 12 points.
Idaho’s Gina Marxen led all scorers with 17 points.
It was a wire-to-wire victory for the Vandals as they opened with a 3-pointer and never looked back.
State colleges: UVU completes sweep of Cal Baptist in men’s basketball /p>