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UVU basketball: Utah Valley runs past Benedictine, 86-52

Kenneth Ogbe led three Utah Valley players in double figures with 13 points and Isaac Neilson recorded his second-straight double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Wolverines to an 86-52 win over Benedictine on Saturday night at the UCCU Center.

Utah Valley improves to 2-1 overall on the season and ups its home record to a perfect 2-0 at the UCCU Center this year.

"I was really pleased with our starting lineup tonight," said Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope. "They started the game with terrific intensity and then they sat for 11 minutes and then a whole half time. You know, they kind of sat through a lot of frustration, just us not feeling quite right, not making shots, defensive errors, kind of watching all that. Then they came back in after halftime and picked up with exactly the same great intensity to start the second half. That's really hard to do. I'm really really proud of those guys."

Utah Valley jumped out to a quick 10-0 lead to open the game and did not allow Benedictine a field goal until the 17-minute mark. The Wolverines extended their lead to 16 points, 25-9, midway through the first half. Benedictine fought back with a 12-2 run to cut the UVU lead to a six-point advantage, 27-21, with six minutes remaining before Utah Valley took a 43-32 lead into the break.

The Wolverines scored 10 unanswered points to open the second half and went on a 20-2 run during the first seven minutes of the final period to take a 64-34 lead with 13:13 to play. The Wolverines continued to build on their lead throughout the rest of the half to secure the 86-52 victory.

Ogbe scored his game-high 13 points on a 4-of-6 clip from the field, including a 3-of-5 mark from beyond the arc. He was also a perfect 2-for-2 at the charity stripe. Isaac Neilson knocked down 4-of-9 shots from the field and hit 4-of-6 shots from the free-throw line. The junior forward also pulled down 10 rebounds, recorded three blocks and dished out a pair of assists.

Jordan Poydras was also in double figures with 10 points, connecting on three shots with a pair of threes. Poydras also pulled down six rebounds and registered two steals and a pair of assists. Brandon Randolph tallied nine points with seven rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Utah Valley knocked shot 37 percent (27-of-73) from the field and hit 11 3-point field goals. The Wolverines put up 43 3-point attempts on the night, surpassing the UVU single game 3-point attempts record of 36 set last season at Chicago State.

The Wolverines tallied an impressive 16 steals on the night, which ranks third all-time in a single game in UVU history. The 16 steals helped force the Redhawks into 27 turnovers.

"I'm proud of Brandon (Randolph) for his leadership," Pope said. "I'm proud of KO (Kenneth Ogbe). He just gets better and better every game, and then Conner Toolson, who's our leading scorer. He plays the first half and has one field goal attempt in the whole half and it doesn't faze him. He's making defensive plays, he's sharing the ball and doing everything he can for his team. He's coming out with great intensity."

Jorge Cano led Benedictine in scoring with 11 points. Troy Conley helped with nine.

Utah Valley now travels to the Mile High City to take on the University of Denver on Wednesday, Nov. 23. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN 960 AM radio. UVU's next home game is Dec. 3, against UTSA.

UVU basketball: Utah Valley runs past Benedictine, 86-52

UVU head coach Mark Pope and player Isaac Neilson discuss Utah Valley's 86-52 win over Benedictine.

Jason Erickson works in the communications office at the Utah Valley University athletic department. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.