OREM, Utah – Utah Valley out-rebounded CSUN 49-34 en route to a 92-84 win in the first round of the of the College Basketball Invitational Tuesday night at the UCCU Center.
With the win, the Wolverines advance to play at South Florida on Monday, March 25.
Trailing 20-14, Utah Valley went on a 9-2 run to take a 23-22 lead with 11:36 remaining in the first half. The Wolverines took a 34-32 lead with five minutes to go and scored 10 unanswered points to take a 44-32 advantage with 1:50 left in the half. The Matadors closed the half on an 8-0 run to cut the Utah Valley lead to 44-40 at halftime.
The two teams played evenly through the first 13 minutes of the second half and Utah Valley held on to a five-point lead, 73-68, with 7:42 to play. Leading 78-75 with five minutes to play, Utah Valley scored four straight points to extend its lead to seven points with 3:33 remaining. The Matadors cut it to three points, 84-81, with 1:48 to play, but Utah Valley outscored CSUN 8-3 down the stretch to claim the 92-84 win.
WAC Player of the Year Jake Toolson led Utah Valley with 21 points, while Baylee Steele added a double-double of a career-high 19 points and 16 rebounds. Isaiah White and Richard Harward added 15 points each.
Utah Valley shot 45 percent from the floor, 38 percent from three-point range and 78 percent from the free throw line. CSUN connected on 41 percent from the field, 25 percent from beyond the arc and 65 percent from the line.