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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Conner Toolson had 21 points as Utah Valley topped UMKC 71-64 in the quarterfinals of the Western Athletic Conference Tourney on Thursday night.
Richard Harward had 15 points for Utah Valley (24-8). Isaiah White added six rebounds. Jake Toolson had seven rebounds for Utah Valley.
Xavier Bishop had 17 points for the Kangaroos (11-21). Jamel Allen added 12 points. Jordan Giles had 11 points.
“I’m really proud of these guys,” Utah Valley coach Mark Pope said. “This is the definition of what March is supposed to be. These games just come down to guts. There’s nothing pretty about them.
“It’s just both teams slugging it out. We couldn’t be more excited to get the win and move on to Friday’s semifinal.”
With the win, Utah Valley (24-8) broke the school record for wins in a season — a record of 23 wins that was set last year.
Kansas City ended the first half on an 11-0 run to take a 37-35 edge into the break. The Wolverines continued trail into the second half, when the Roos took a 62-59 edge into the final three minutes of play.
But Jake Toolson, who had seven points, scored on a turnaround hook shut to cut the deficit to one, and Richard Harward converted a pair of free throws on the ensuing possession to give UVU a lead it would never relinquish.
Utah Valley outscored Kansas City 8-4 the rest of the win to secure the victory and advance to face third-seeded Grand Canyon in Friday’s semifinals. Tipoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. PDT at Orleans Arena.
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