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Idaho (15-17) vs. Utah Valley (20-10)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Friday, March 14, 9 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Orleans Arena (7,471) -- Las Vegas, Nevada. Television: None. Home Record: Idaho 7-6, Utah Valley 13-2. Away Record: Idaho 5-10, Utah Valley 7-8. Neutral Record: Idaho 3-1, Utah Valley 0-0. Conference Record: Idaho 7-9, Utah Valley 13-3. Series Record: Utah Valley leads, 2-0.

GAME NOTES: A spot in the Western Athletic Conference Tournament title game is up for grabs, as the Utah Valley Wolverines clash with the Idaho Vandals in the semifinals of the 31st annual event at Orleans Arena.

Both squads were in action on Thursday in the quarterfinals, with top-seeded Utah Valley having an easy time of it against eighth-seeded Texas-Pan American, 83-63, as the Wolverines set a tournament record with a staggering 70.5 percent shooting from the floor. The victory for Utah Valley was the fourth in a row and the sixth in the last seven outings for a program that is one of many new to the WAC this season.

As for the fifth-seeded Vandals, they're one of the more established programs in the conference, along with New Mexico State, but coming into this year's tourney the team had won just one of nine decisions in the event. Idaho was able to improve on that record slightly with a 73-70 victory against UMKC on Thursday afternoon. It was the second win in as many games for the Vandals versus the Kangaroos in a span of less than a week.

The Wolverines won both regular-season meetings with Idaho, the first two matchups ever between the squads, posting a 71-66 victory in Moscow in January and then taking a narrow 89-88 decision at home a month later.

The winner here will move into the title game against the winner of the CS- Bakersfield/New Mexico State meeting.

In a game that featured eight ties and 19 lead changes, the Vandals led by as many as eight points with just over two minutes remaining in regulation, yet had to hold on down the stretch for the win against UMKC yesterday. Stephen Madison absolutely dominated play all over the floor as he registered a double-double consisting of 26 points and 17 rebounds, both of which were game highs. Madison converted all 11 of his attempts at the free-throw line and 3- of-5 behind the 3-point line. Sekou Wiggs and Glen Dean were huge off the bench as they contributed 18 and 14 points, respectively, the latter tying for the team high with six assists.

In addition to limiting the Kangaroos, a 10-win team this season, to just three offensive rebounds, the Vandals also outscored UMKC by a 27-16 margin at the free-throw line.

UTPA may have held a lead of three points about two minutes into the meeting with the Wolverines, but that was before the latter went on an absolute tear from the floor, shooting a mind-boggling 80 percent through the first 20 minutes, including 7-of-9 behind the 3-point line. Utah Valley led by a 51-25 score at the break and continued to light up the scoreboard with 57.9 percent from the floor in the second half of the onslaught.

On the way to setting a new program record for shooting from the field in a half at the Division I level, Holton Hunsaker led the charge with 24 points and seven assists, followed by Mitch Bruneel and Keawe Enos with 18 and 12 points, respectively. Ben Aird chipped in eight points and cleared a game-high 13 rebounds, nearly matching all of UTPA's efforts on the glass (14 rebounds), before fouling out. With his rebounding effort, Aird became the first player in program history to eclipse 1,000 rebounds for his career.

If the Wolverines are expecting a repeat of their incredible effort on Thursday they are sorely mistaken. Granted, Utah Valley is a very talented team, but Madison and the rest of the Vandals might see this as a golden opportunity to finally make a name for themselves in the WAC.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Idaho 72, Utah Valley 67

03/14 10:39:29 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
Final
SFG 11
KAN 4
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
Final
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
Final
WASU 37
ARZ 59
Final
CLEM 16
SYR 6
Final
LAMON 18
TXST 22
Final
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 34
Final
COLST 45
WYO 31
Final
LSU 10
MISS 7
Final
TENN 20
ALA 34
Final
AUB 42
SCAR 35
Final
PSU 24
OSU 31
Final
UTAH 24
USC 21
Final
WASH 10
ARST 24
Final
HAW 18
NEV 26
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
Final
TOR 1
BOS 4
Final
NYI 7
DAL 5
Final
PHI 4
DET 2
Final
OTT 2
NJD 3
Final
MON 3
NYR 1
Final
STL 3
CHI 2
Final
NAS 0
PIT 3
Final
MIN 7
TAM 2
Final
ARI 2
FLA 1
Final
CAL 1
WAS 3
3:00pm Today
WIN
COL
 
4:00pm Today
LOS
CLB
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
OTT
 
8:00pm Tonight
ANA
SJS
 
9:30pm Tonight
VAN
WAS
 
9:30am Today
ATL
DET
1:00pm Today
CIN
BAL
1:00pm Today
NYJ
BUF
1:00pm Today
NEP
CHI
1:00pm Today
TEN
HOU
1:00pm Today
JAC
MIA
1:00pm Today
TAM
MIN
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
1:00pm Today
KAN
STL
4:05pm Today
ARI
PHI
4:25pm Today
PIT
IND
4:25pm Today
CLE
OAK
8:30pm Tonight
NOS
GBP
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14