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The Triple Double: Harward, Toolson lead UVU to Blowout Win Over Chicago State

Clark Clifford - UVU Athletics

OREM — If Chicago State could play a full 40 minutes consistently, they could win some games. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case on Thursday night in the UCCU Center.

At the 9:27 mark of the first half, UVU forward Isaiah White hit a 3-pointer. From that point on, UVU hit seven straight 3-pointers to push the lead to 45-32. Jake Toolson hit four of his five first half 3-pointers during the run and UVU never looked back en route to the 103-71 win over the helpless Cougars.

Here are a few thoughts from Thursday night’s contest on Salute to Service Night.

Jake Toolson is a WAC POY Candidate

About the only thing UVU junior forward Jake Toolson did wrong on Thursday night was miss a pair of free throws. Toolson finished with a game-high 25 points on 8-13 shooting including 6-9 from beyond the arc. The Gilbert, AZ native also pulled down four rebounds and dished out two assists in 24 minutes of floor time. Toolson hasn’t missed a game all season while averaging 33.2 minutes per game. UVU’s floor leader is averaging 16.5 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game. All this while shooting better than 56 percent from the floor, 47 percent from 3-point land and nearly 86 percent from the free throw line. Toolson is second in the WAC in scoring behind California Baptist’s Milan Acquaah, who averages 20.2 points per game. However, Toolson leads the WAC in 3-point field goal percentage and is fourth in field goal percentage. 

A lot may depend on how UVU finishes the season. But, considering it was supposed to be a rebuilding year in Orem yet the Wolverines are 18-8…it says a lot about what this junior forward has helped UVU accomplish so far this season.

Richard Harward Making the Most of His Opportunity

UVU was 0-2 in WAC play and the Wolverines were down by 20 to Seattle midway through the first half back on Jan. 12. A loss and UVU would have been at the bottom of the WAC standings. But, something magical happened. His name is Richard Harward and he is a sophomore center from Orem, Utah. In his first extended action of the season, Harward put UVU on his back with 12 points and 15 rebounds and helped the Wolverines overcome that 20-point deficit to beat Seattle, 88-78. 

When UVU looks back on its season, it might be safe to say that Harward saved it. He doesn’t put up monster numbers every night, but that’s okay. It is his physicality and aggressiveness that give UVU a boost. But then there are nights where he dominates, like Thursday night. Harward had a career-high 19 points and a career-high 16 rebounds on 8-10 shooting and a perfect 3-3 from the free throw line. Harward is one of the hardest working players on the UVU roster and that hard work has paid off for him, his coach and his team. 

Chicago State Missing a Few Pieces

It was the first time I got to see Chicago State in person. I know the final score won’t reflect much but I was pleasantly surprised. Anthony Harris is very active and has a pretty pull-up jumper. Rob Shaw has the ability to get to the rim and hit from long range. And at times, Chicago State showed aggression by attacking the rim. Lance Irvin is doing what he can given what he has. I just think that Chicago State is missing pieces. They need other scorers around Harris and Shaw. But, I think that there is potential there. Probably not WAC Championship potential. But potential to be competitive. Give it a few years and we will see Chicago State winning more games. 

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