Nield's 19 helps Utah Valley force OT, survive Long Beach for 3rd straight win

Utah Valley guard Blaze Nield catches a pass in the post during a game in this file photo against St. John's, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021 in Queens, N.Y.

Utah Valley guard Blaze Nield catches a pass in the post during a game in this file photo against St. John's, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021 in Queens, N.Y. (Stephen Dombroski, St. John's Athletics)



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LONG BEACH, Calif. — Another game, another clutch shot.

Another Utah Valley win, too.

Former BYU guard Blaze Nield notched a career-high 19 points, including a jumper with 4 seconds left to force overtime, as Utah Valley rallied for their third win in a row with an 84-78 victory Wednesday night over Long Beach State at Walter Pyramid.

Fardaws Aimaq poured in 25 points, 16 rebounds and three blocked shots to lead the Wolverines (3-1), who got 16 points and six rebounds from Connor Harding.

Le'Tre Darthard had 10 points, three rebounds and three assists for Utah Valley, which shot 51% from the field including 8-of-18 from 3-point range.

But it was Nield who had the ball in his hands when the Wolverines trailed 68-66 with 21 seconds to go. The Lehi product finished with after the Wolverines hit a potential game-tying shot off the backboard, settled near the free-throw line, and casually drained a jumper to force extra sessions for the second consecutive game.

"For Blaze to play the way he did was just phenomenal," Utah Valley coach Mark Madsen said. "All that work that he's been doing day after day showed forth itself today with big shots down the stretch. Fardaws was getting double and tripled teamed and he had to really work for his double-double. We tried to change our defenses and make adjustments and that was a huge key for us."

Nield drained consecutive 3-pointers in overtime as Utah Valley out-scored Long Beach 16-10 in the extra session, including the final seven points of the win.

Joel Murray had 18 points, and Jordan Roberts added 16 points and five rebounds for the Beach (1-2).

Utah Valley will take on Idaho in the SoCal Challenge on Monday at 3:30 p.m. MT. The Wolverines wrap up the SoCal Challenge with a matchup against either Cal Poly or Nicholls State on Wednesday, Nov. 24 in San Juan Capistrano, Calif.

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