Although there may have been some disappointing plays, the Wolverines kept two huge leads throughout their weekend games.
As they brought Texas-Pan American to the Wolverines stomping grounds for a Great West Conference play, the Broncs couldn’t hold down the fort as Utah Valley took the 66-49 win.
With only a five point lead from the Broncs to start off the first half and almost catching up in the second, Utah Valley managed to keep the lead, ending in a GWC victory.
Jason Johnson, who was recently named Great West Player of the Week, and Ben Aird both finished with 15 points as Nick Thompson added 12 points with eight assists. The victory showed signs of improvements for the Wolverines, and they were hoping to build on that momentum.
“This was a game our kids needed and we had to come out and play well,” said Head Coach Dick Hunsaker. “I was happy with how hard we worked and I thought everybody played a part on both ends of the floor.”
With a large lead against the Broncs, the Wolverines weren’t going to end there. Utah Valley took on Northern New Mexico where they continued their winning streak, outscoring the Eagles 86-63.
As the Wolverines took on NNM with a 17-0 run in the first half, the Eagles took flight but couldn’t stay at pace.
Holton Hunsaker scored the first points of the game with back-to-back triples, and they continued to keep an untouchable lead throughout the game.
Although the first half was strong, the second half started with some shaky doubts.
“The sore spot of this, statistically, was the 41 points in the second half,” Hunsaker said. “We didn’t make stops, but the first half we made stops and were able to turn defense into offense.”
New Mexico began to make headway but was shut down as the Wolverines pulled ahead again, leading by as much as 29 points in the second half.
“Once we got that first group off the court, I thought the guys that went to the bench did a nice job at energizing, stabilized us and competed better,” Hunsaker said.
Antoine Hosley and Aird both finished the game with 16 points with 14 points from Zach Jones. Hunsaker, with 12 points, also became the sixth player to hit the 1,000 career points for Utah Valley.
“New Mexico came out with spirit and out athlete(d) us, which is a bit disappointing,” Coach Hunsaker said. “Other than that it was good to get a victory.”
With wholehearted confidence and anticipation, Utah Valley continues to hit the court as it sets quest towards Newark, New Jersey to take on the Great West Conference leader NJIT.
Rachel Anderson, assistant sports editor