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UVU basketball: Wolverines play New Mexico State for WAC lead

Published February 26, 2014 1:06 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Orem • Utah Valley plays the biggest basketball game in school history — at least so far — on Thursday night at the UCCU Events Center.

The Wolverines face New Mexico State in a battle of co-leaders in the Western Athletic Conference.

Utah Valley and the Aggies own identical 10-3 league records with only three games remaining.

The regular-season WAC champion will earn the No. 1 seed in the conference's postseason tournament, which runs March 12-15 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The winner receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

This is unexplored terrain for Utah Valley, which was a junior college as recently as 2003 and, only six years ago, was not eligible for NCAA postseason play.

The Wolverines are 16-10 overall and will be positioned to win the WAC in their first season of membership by beating New Mexico State.

It won't be easy.

The Aggies have won four straight games and are 21-8 overall. They are led by junior guard Daniel Mullings and sophomore center Sim Bhullar.

Millings averages 16.9 points a game. Bhullar, who is 7-foot-5 and weighs 360 pounds, averages 9.2 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.4 blocked shots.

On Feb. 1 in Las Cruces, New Mexico State broke open a close game after halftime and rolled to a 72-49 victory. Utah Valley scored 21 points and managed only five field goals in the second half. —

New Mexico Stateat Utah Valley

O At the UCCU Events Center, Orem

Thursday, 7:05 p.m.