Utah Valley’s Trey Woodbury didn’t hesitate and called ‘onions’ on Friday night at the Redhawk Center. Despite multiple turnovers and some missed free throws, Woodbury hit the biggest shot of the game with five seconds remaining in overtime.
Coming off a down screen by roommate Fardaws Aimaq, Woodbury hit a 3-pointer to propel Utah Valley to a thrilling 93-92 overtime win over Seattle on Friday night at the Redhawk Center.
What a game. There are no words or phrases that can do justice to what happened in the Pacific Northwest on Friday night. The Utah Valley-Seattle game may go down as one of the greatest games in 2020-21.
Friday night’s contest was neck and neck in the extra five minutes. Seattle’s Jarred Pearre missed a free throw that would’ve put Seattle up three. However, with Utah Valley trailing 92-90 and time running out, Blaze Nield found a wide open Trey Woodbury who launched a deep three.
Seattle’s Aaron Nettles managed to get off a last second heave but it fell wide and Utah Valley won an absolute thriller.
FINAL | Utah Valley 93, Seattle U 92
— The Western Athletic Conference (@WACsports) January 16, 2021
Early on, Seattle came out and punched Utah Valley right in the mouth. Sparked by a 13-0 run, Seattle held a 29-17 lead midway through the first half. Junior College transfer Jaden McClanahan came in for the Wolverines and helped to provide the spark the Wolverines needed. It was only a four-point game at halftime.
Seattle recaptured some momentum though midway through the second half, going on a 9-0 run after Utah Valley tied the game at 54 with 13:38 to play. The Wolverines didn’t fold and slowly climbed back. And eventually Utah valley forced overtime, and prevailed in the extra frame.
Utah Valley’s mental toughness prevailed
In the midst of Seattle’s 9-0 run in the second half, Mark Madsen encouraged his guys to be the mentally stronger team.
His squad responded. Trey Woodbury had the biggest response, though, with his game-winning three. Woodbury had struggled in the final minutes of the second half and overtime. Despite the struggles, Woodbury stayed mentally tough and hit the biggest shot of the night.
“Well, I think mental toughness really stood out,” Madsen said. “But, just his (Woodbury) mental toughness exceeded everything tonight. The mental toughness of Trey Woodbury to stay strong throughout the entirety of the game. A couple of things didn’t go his way but he stayed locked in and he stayed ready and he knocked down a huge shot to win the game.”
It was a group effort as well. Fardaws Aimaq and Jamison Overton had timely plays down the stretch that were clutch. Blaze Nield had a gutsy four-point play with 3:54 left in the game that gave the Wolverines their first lead since the first half. The way Utah Valley responded after multiple Seattle runs was a big part of how the Wolverines won the game.
Leading the Wolverines tonight was Fardaws Aimaq. He had a game-high 29 points and also pulled down 14 rebounds. That’s good for another double-double. Evan Cole was also a member of the double-double club last night as he had 12 points and 11 rebounds. That’s back-to-back games for Utah Valley where these two have had double-doubles. Aimaq and Cole are a special duo and Utah Valley fans should enjoy this while it lasts.
Darrion Trammell is the real deal
Seattle guard Darrion Trammell looks like a legitimate WAC Player of the Year candidate. Trammell’s only getting better, too.
Trammell scored 19 of his 26 points in the first half and led the Redhawks in scoring. Not only that, but he is great at creating for his teammates and locking down the clamps on defense. Trammell wasn’t satisfied though with how things went tonight. After the game he was out putting up shots, striving to get better. He’s only a Sophomore too, and he is going to be a bright player in this conference for the next few seasons.
Riley Grigsby and Seattle native Aaron Nettles had 20 and 19 points, respectively. True Freshman guard Vas Pandža hit some clutch shots for the Redhawks while stepping up in the absence of Darrion Trammell.
Seattle played a great game. Head coach Jim Hayford isn’t hanging his head, either.
“It was just a great basketball game.” Hayford said. “It’s not even the negatives, it’s just they (Utah Valley) made one more play and that’s how they got the win.”
It will be interesting to see how Seattle U responds tonight. The Redhawks may have an advantage since Darrion Trammell and Riley Grigsby missed the final minutes of the game after fouling out. That may prove to be a big factor in game two.
If tonight’s game is anything like last night’s, fans are in for another treat. Saturday night, the game on ESPN+ again. Tipoff is set for 6:00pm PST.