Leading South Dakota, the UVU men’s basketball team looked to get its first conference road victory at North Dakota. But the Fighting Sioux torched the nets in the second half en route to a 74-58 victory over the Wolverines, despite 21 points and six rebounds from UVU’s Jordan Swarbrick.
The Wolverines kept things tight in the first half, shooting 50 percent from the field, while holding North Dakota to only 33 percent.
Swarbrick scored 14 points in the first 20 minutes, and the game was deadlocked at 33-33 going into the half.
After halftime, it was all North Dakota. With the game tied at 39-39 early in the second half, the Fighting Sioux used a 27-4 run to build a sizable lead, thanks in part to Travis Bledsoe, who led North Dakota with 20 points and five assists.
A 3-pointer by UVU’s Tyray Petty with 6:51 to play trimmed the lead to 10. But that was as close as the Wolverines came to the Fighting Sioux, who shot 58 percent from the field in the second half.
Petty scored all 15 of his points on 5-for-7 shooting from beyond the 3-point line. Justin Baker also totaled 13 points and seven rebounds for the Wolverines.
UVU head coach Dick Hunsaker said his team struggled to shut down North Dakota in the second half. “We couldn’t find enough defensive stops in the second half,” he said. “North Dakota came out of the locker room and knocked down some shots, and we were simply unable to get them under control.”
With the loss, UVU has yet to win a conference road game this season and has come up with only one road victory all year.
Luckily for the Wolverines, they wrap-up the regular season with two home games before the Great West Conference Championships take place in the friendly confines of the UVU Events Center March 10-13.