OREM (AP) — TJ Washington came off the bench to score 25 points, Isaiah White scored on a layup with 2 seconds left in the game and Utah Valley slipped past Texas-Rio Grande Valley 72-70 on Saturday.
Utah Valley improves to 8-12 overall and 2-3 in WAC play. UTRGV falls to 6-12 overall and 2-3 in WAC play.
"We've had so many close ones this season and it was fun to win one of those tonight," Utah Valley coach Mark Madsen said. "Everyone on our roster contributed to this win. I'm really proud of TJ. We put him on the high ball screen and they couldn't guard him and he knocked down free throws. I was proud of our guys today for going out and executing our game plan. I can't say enough about every player that stepped on the floor. JJ Overton finished around the rim and made plays for others and stepped up off the bench."
The two teams played to a 30-30 halftime tie and stayed within five points of each other throughout the second half. Javon Levi sank a jumper to pull the Vaqueros even at 68 with 43 seconds remaining. Casdon Jardine sank two free throws with 24 seconds left to put the Wolverines (8-12, 2-3 Western Athletic Conference) up two, but Sean Rhea’s dunk with 14 seconds knotted the score before White nailed his game-winner 14 seconds later.
Washington hit 6 of 12 shots from the floor and made 11 of his 12 free throws for Utah Valley. Fellow reserve Jamison Overton added 16 points and eight rebounds. The Wolverines bench accounted for 43 of their 72 points.
GAME WINNER!!!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/U5LqAmyqp8— Utah Valley Wolverines (@GoUVU) January 18, 2020
Lesley Varner II totaled 21 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals to pace the Vaqueros (6-12, 2-3). Levi pitched in with 14 points, eight assists and six boards. Rhea scored 14 with six rebounds.