Utah Valley's quick strike downs Nicholls for SoCal Challenge title

Six Wolverines scored in double figures as Utah Valley sprinted out to an early lead and held off Nicholls State, 74-63, to claim the first-ever SoCal Challenge championship. Fardaws Aimaq was named Tournament MVP and Aimaq and Connor Harding were both named to the All-Tournament team.

Six Wolverines scored in double figures as Utah Valley sprinted out to an early lead and held off Nicholls State, 74-63, to claim the first-ever SoCal Challenge championship. Fardaws Aimaq was named Tournament MVP and Aimaq and Connor Harding were both named to the All-Tournament team. (Courtesy: SoCal Challenge)


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SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. β€” Connor Harding and Blaze Nield each scored 13 points and Utah Valley had six players score in double digits Wednesday night in its 74-63 win over Nicholls in the Sand Division championship game of the inaugural SoCal Challenge.

The Wolverines built a 16-0 lead and extended the margin to 22 points (42-22) by halftime.

Devante Carter scored 17 points in reserve for the Colonels.

Fardaws Aimaq was named Tournament MVP, and Aimaq and Harding were both named to the All-Tournament team.

Aimaq led the Wolverines with another double-double, finishing with 10 points, 16 rebounds and a pair of blocks. Connor Harding chipped in 13 points including a perfect 6 of 6 from the charity stripe to go along with four rebounds and four assists. Nield tallied 13 points and a team-high five assists, while Le'Tre Darthard added 12 points.

With the win, UVU improves to 5-1, extending its winning streak to five games. The five-game win streak marks the longest streak since 2019 and the longest of the Madsen era. The 5-1 mark is the best six-game start to a season in UVU history, surpassing the 2016-17 team that opened the season with a 4-1 record before dropping its sixth game.

The Wolverines return home for a matchup with Denver on Saturday in the UCCU Center. The game will tip off at 3:00 p.m. MT and will be broadcasted on ESPN+ and ESPN 960 AM.

Utah Valley then hosts in-state rival BYU in the UCCU Crosstown Clash at 7 p.m. MT Wednesday, Dec. 1, in the UCCU Center.

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