Wolverines upset leads to player opportunities

0 comments, Monday, January 28th, 2013, by Rachel Anderson, in Sports
As the men’s basketball team set out to Edinburg, Texas after a big 83-62 win against Houston Baptist University, their efforts weren’t enough to keep their two-game winning streak as they stumbled to a 62-60 loss against UTPA.

With an unexpected injury from Alfonzo Hubbard, who recently received the Great West conference Player of the Week, scoring a career-high of 24 points against HBU, the Wolverines were caught off guard.

“I thought we competed hard and we obviously had some combinations on the court that we haven’t had on a lot this year due to Alfonzo’s injury,” said Head Coach Dick Hunsaker. “We worked very hard and battled right to the end.”

Screen Shot 2013-01-27 at 1.46.42 PMDespite the loss, the Wolverines had new opportunities, and the bench was spotlighted during the game. It wasn’t only a game of chance but a game of opportunity.

Holton Hunsaker, junior guard, spoke some simple but familiar words of wisdom to the team regarding what to expect, giving motivation to those who don’t get as much playing time.

“One person getting injured or one persons misfortune is a chance for someone else’s chance to step up and play,” Hunsaker said.

Hunsaker continues to spotlight teammates Taylor Brown and Zach Jones in that opportunity to play more games and get more shots with Hubbard out of the game.

“They really have the chance to do what they want to do this whole season which was to get on the court more and be able to show what they can do,” Hunsaker said. “Once they get more comfortable and make plays throughout the games, they will be able to fill that spot because they’re good players.”

The game overall had some highlighted points. Ben Aird recorded his sixth double-double of the season, scoring 16 points and 14 rebounds. Hunsaker scored 18 points during the UTPA game.

“Every time we play down there, its always been a tough game,” Hunsaker said. “They always play hard at home and shoot really well. With those two factors going into the game we knew it was going to be tough.”

The Wolverines stand at an overall 9-11 and 1-2 in Great West Conference play. With exciting anticipation for their next game against Chicago State Univeristy, Utah Valley heads east to take on the heat.

“Our depth off the bench and production is limited and hopefully that will improve,” Coach Hunsaker said. “Chicago is a very athletic team that is also playing with its season high, so we’ll have our hands full.”

Rachel Anderson, assistant sports editor

randerson3x@gmail.com

@rachach3x

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