UTAH VALLEY WRAPS UP THREE-GAME ROAD SWING AT ABILENE CHRISTIAN ON SATURDAY NIGHT
- Utah Valley continues play in the Lone Star State as the team travels to play Abilene Christian on Saturday at Moody Coliseum in Abilene, Texas. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. (MT)
- Utah Valley sits atop the WAC standings with an 12-3 record. The Wolverines control their own destiny as the team holds a one-game lead in the WAC standings over Sam Houston and Southern Utah with three games to play. UVU also hold the top spot in the WAC resume seeding system. If the season ended today, UVU would take the No. 1 seed into the WAC Tournament in Las Vegas.
- Aziz Bandaogo scored 11 points with seven rebounds and five blocks to lead Utah Valley in a 77-58 setback to Tarleton on Thursday night at Wisdom Gym in Stephenville, Texas. The loss snapped UVU’s five-game win streak as the Wolverines hadn’t dropped a game since a Jan. 26 loss at Southern Utah. Le’Tre Darthard also scored 11 points. Justin Harmon and Trey Woodbury were also in double figures with 10 points each. Tahj Small added six points. Utah Valley shot a season-low 31.8 percent (14-44) from the floor and 22.2 percent (4-18) from three-point range.
- Utah Valley has hit the 20-win mark for a second straight season. This year’s team hit the 20-win mark faster than any team in UVU history in the program’s full Division I status era. The 2003-04 team hit the 20-win mark through 25 games during UVU’s Division I provisional status era. It’s only the second team in UVU history that the Wolverines have won 20-plus games in back-to-back seasons.
- Aziz Bandaogo’s five swats at Tarleton on Thursday night gives him 83 blocks on the season, which is the most blocks in a season in UVU history. The 83 blocks breaks Emanuel Olojapoke’s previous single season record of 81 blocks set during the 2019-20 season.
- Utah Valley has won 18 of its last 20 games over a nearly three-month stretch. During that stretch, Utah Valley rattled off 11 straight wins that began with an 88-78 win over Long Beach State on Dec. 3 and ended in an 85-80 loss to Seattle U on Jan. 14. The 11-game streak is the second longest streak in program history behind the 2011-12 team, which won 13 straight.
- Utah Valley is the top shot blocking team in the nation with 183 blocks and a 6.5 blocks per game average. The Wolverines sit ahead of Iona (5.9), Illinois (5.8), Milwaukee (5.7), Auburn (5.6), Oral Roberts (5.5), Washington (5.5), and Western Kentucky (5.5). Utah Valley also ranks second nationally in defensive rebounds per game (29.68) and sixth in rebounds per game (40.25). Utah Valley’s 183 blocks are the most swats ever recorded in a single season in program history, breaking the previous record of 157 set during the 2019-20 season.
- Aziz Bandaogo ranks in the top-12 nationally in six statistical categories. He ranks third in blocks (83), fifth in blocks per game (2.96), fifth in defensive rebounds per game (7.82), seventh in total rebounds (301), eighth in rebounds per game (10.8), and 12th in double-doubles (14).
Saturday night’s game at Abilene Christian will be broadcast live on the ESPN+, which is available on the ESPN+ app and at ESPNplus.com. The game will also be broadcast over the Utah County airwaves on ESPN 960 AM and 92.1 FM and 96.3 FM – HD 3 in Salt Lake City with Jim McCulloch on the call.
ABOUT ABILENE CHRISTIAN
Abilene Christian enters Saturday’s game with an 13-14 overall record and a 7-9 mark in WAC play. The Wildcats hold a 9-4 record at home this season. ACU has dropped three straight dating back to a 77-62 setback to Sam Houston on Feb. 11. The Wildcats dropped a 91-87 double overtime decision to Stephen F. Austin on Wednesday night at home. Ali Dibba led ACU with a season-high 21 points, while Joe Pleasant added a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds in the loss to SFA. Immanuel Allen leads the team in scoring at 11.1 points a game this season, followed by Tobias Cameron at 10.1 points a contest. Ali Abdou Dibba and Airion Simmons nearly average double figures at 9.9 and 9.7 points per game, respectively. ACU is one of the top turnover forcing teams in the nation, forcing 18.0 turnovers per game. The team also ranks 16th in the country in steals per game at 9.1 a contest. ACU averages 76.70 points a game while limiting opponents to a 71.33 points per game average.
SERIES HISTORY VS. THE WILDCATS
Utah Valley and Abilene Christian will meet for the fourth time on the basketball hardwood. Saturday’s game will be the first time the two teams have met in Abilene. ACU leads the all-time series 2-1. Utah Valley picked up its first win in the series earlier this season on Jan. 18, taking an 84-54 win in Orem.
BANDAOGO BREAKS UVU’S SINGLE SEASON BLOCKS RECORD
Aziz Bandaogo has already established himself as one of the top shot blockers in the nation. Bandaogo ranks third in the country in total blocks (83) and fifth in blocks per game (2.96). Bandaogo broke Emmanuel Olojakpoke’s single season blocks record with 2:55 remaining in the first half against Tarleton on Feb. 23 in Stephenville, Texas with his 82nd swat of the season. Bandaogo now has 83 total blocks this season.
WOODBURY CLOSING IN ON 1,000-POINT MARK
Senior guard Trey Woodbury has 938 career points during his four seasons at Utah Valley and is just 62 points shy of reaching the 1,000-point mark. Woodbury would become just the ninth player in Utah Valley history to reach 1,000 points. Woodbury currently ranks 10th on the all-time UVU career points list.
Utah Valley is the top shot blocking team in the nation with 183 blocks and a 6.5 blocks per game average. The Wolverines sit ahead of Iona (5.9), Illinois (5.8), Milwaukee (5.7), and Auburn (5.6).
BACK-TO-BACK 20-WIN SEASONS
Utah Valley has hit the 20-win mark for a second straight season. This year’s team has hit the 20-win mark faster than any team in UVU history in the program’s full Division I status era. The 2003-04 team hit the 20-win mark through 25 games during UVU’s Division I provisional status era. It’s only the second team in UVU history the Wolverines have won 20-plus games in back-to-back seasons. The UVU record for wins in a season is 25 set by the 2018-19 team.