OREM, Utah — Fred Sims Jr. scored 25 points and hauled down 10 rebounds as Chicago State used a second-half surge to defeat Utah Valley 70-61 on Thursday night and claim their first Western Athletic Conference win of the season.

Clemmye Owens V had 14 points for Chicago State (5-14, 1-2) and Trayvon Palmer added nine with 11 rebounds.

Montana Byrd opened the second half with a 3-pointer as the Cougars cut Utah State’s lead to 33-31. Sims knocked in a 3 and made two free throws for a 44-40 Chicago State lead, which grew to as many as 13 points.

Jordan Poydras, fouled by Owens while attempting a 3-pointer, made all three foul shots as Utah Valley closed the gap to 53-50. Sims hit two of his four 3-pointers down the stretch to keep Chicago State just out of reach.

Brandon Randolph led the Wolverines (8-9, 0-2) with 12 points and Conner Toolson added 10.