One Team All Green

Unlikely Hero Wins WAC Player of the Week Honors

Clark Clifford - UVU Athletics

OREM — Imagine finding out one of your big forwards is out prior to a big conference game. And then imagine that you really only have two options left at the position. The first option has been a starter all season. The second option has only played about four minutes per game. 

Not the situation you want to find yourself in as a coach. However, that is exactly what UVU head coach Mark Pope found himself in on Saturday night. Connor MacDougall was inactive due to an undisclosed injury, leaving just Baylee Steele and Richard Harward as the men to protect the paint for the Wolverines. 

With his Wolverines off to a sluggish start and falling behind by 20 points, Pope looked at his bench. Pope inserted Harward at the 7:31 mark of the first half with UVU trailing 37-17. And throughout the rest of the first half, UVU cut into the lead. Seattle took a 50-37 lead into the halftime locker room. 

But, there was life in the UVU lineup. And, the second half was all Wolverines. And Harward’s impact was crucial in the second frame. Harward scored seven of his 12 points in the second half and pulled down nine of his career-high 15 points. It was part of a 51-point second half for UVU. The Wolverines won 88-78 and avoided falling to 0-3 in WAC play.

“We got to witness something special tonight in our little venue,” said Pope. “There are very few young people who are willing to get nothing for a year and a half, but give everything they have…Rich has never complained for a moment, he’s just fought through this and came out and saved us, he saved us.”

Harward’s heroics earned him WAC Player of the Week honors and helped UVU win its first conference game of the season. 

It remains to be seen what Harward’s role will be once MacDougall returns. But, for one night, the sophomore from Orem put on a show.

And he was deserving of WAC Player of the Week honors.

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