- Utah Valley takes its five-game win streak to the Lone Star State this week as the team travels to play Tarleton on Thursday night at Wisdom Gym in Stephenville, Texas. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. MT
- Utah Valley sits atop the WAC standings with an 12-2 record. The Wolverines 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.
- Le’Tre Darthard led three other Wolverines in double figures with a team-high 19 points and Aziz Bandaogo matched a career high with 17 rebounds to lead Utah Valley to a 67-58 road win over Seattle U on Saturday night at a packed and rowdy Redhawk Center. Justin Harmon and Tim Fuller scored 10 points apiece, while Bandaogo was just two points shy of a double-double with eight points and 17 rebounds to go along with two blocks.
- 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 that the Wolverines have won 20-plus games in back-to-back seasons.
- Le’Tre Darthard is one of the top free throw shooters in the country. He ranks 11th nationally with an 89.9 percent mark at the line. He had a streak of 31 straight made free throws earlier this season and has knocked down 89 of his last 99 free throws.
- 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 172 blocks and a 6.4 blocks per game average. The Wolverines sit ahead of Iona (5.9), Illinois (5.8), Milwaukee (5.7), Florida (5.6), and Western Kentucky (5.6). Utah Valley also ranks second nationally in defensive rebounds per game (29.67) and sixth in rebounds per game (40.33). Utah Valley’s 1872 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-10 nationally in six statistical categories. He ranks third in blocks (78), fifth in defensive rebounds per game (7.93), sixth in rebounds (294), sixth in blocks per game (2.89), eighth in rebounds per game (10.9), and 10th in double-doubles (14).
- The Wolverines committed a season-low five turnovers in its 71-55 win over California Baptist on Feb. 8. The five turnovers are the fewest turnovers in a game since 2014 when UVU had five against Seattle U (2/13/14) and three against Grand Canyon (1/11/14). The five turnovers are the fewest of the Mark Madsen era.
Thursday night’s game at Seattle U 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 with Jim McCulloch on the call.
Tarleton enters Thursday’s game with an 14-14 overall record and a 8-8 mark in WAC play. The Texans hold an impressive 10-2 record at home. Tarleton dropped a pair of games last week, falling 65-60 at Stephen F. Austin before taking a 64-59 setback at home against Sam Houston. Freddy Hicks led the Texans with 18 points, while Shamir Bogues and Lue Williams each helped with 12 in the loss to Sam Houston on Saturday night. Jakorie Smith was also in double figures with 10 points. Hicks leads the Texans in scoring this season at 15.7 points a game. Williams also averages double figures this year at 11.2 points per game. Hicks also leads Tarleton on the boards, pulling down a team-best 5.8 rebounds a game. Tarleton averages 70.1 points a game while limiting opponents to a 67.6 points per game average. The team ranks fourth in the WAC in steals per game at 8.82 a contest. Tarleton’s Bogues ranks third in the league in steals at 1.57 a game.
SERIES HISTORY VS. THE TEXANS
Utah Valley and Tarleton will meet for the fifth time on the basketball hardwood. The Wolverines hold an all-time 3-1 advantage in the series. Utah Valley has taken two straight from the Texans, including a 69-56 win in Stephenville in the last meeting between the two teams on Feb. 16, 2022. UVU’s win at Tarleton last season is the only time the two teams have played in Stephenville.
All-Time Results vs. Tarleton (UVU leads 3-1)
Feb. 16, 2022 Utah Valley def. Tarleton, 69-56 Stephenville, Texas
Jan. 01, 2022 Utah Valley def. Tarleton, 77-55 Orem, Utah
Jan. 30, 2021 Tarleton def. Utah Valley, 70-62 Orem, Utah
Jan. 29, 2021 Utah Valley def. Tarleton, 73-60 Orem, Utah
LAST TIME vs. TARLETON: Utah Valley 69, Tarleton 56 (Feb. 16, 2022 – Stephenville, TX)
Fardaws Aimaq scored 22 points with 20 rebounds for his nation-leading 22nd double-double of the season to lead the Utah Valley University men’s basketball team to a 69-56 road win over Tarleton on Feb. 16, 2022 in front of a raucous crowd at Wisdom Gymnasium.