Basketball’s Great West grand finale

The UVU’s Men’s basketball team has reached the end of a great chapter as they closed out their era in the Great West Conference with a 76-69 win over conference foe Chicago State on March 2.

“It was a hard-fought, tough game,” said Head Coach Dick Hunsaker. “We kept fighting and kept competing. I was real pleased with some of the guys effort and competition that stuck their neck out and really competed.”

The game was a battle. Both teams played physical and hard to get their team a hold of another victory. The Wolverines took the early advantage by grabbing a 12-point lead, which was later on whittled down to only a single point, ending the first half.

The second half was equally as physical as the first, each team having bursts of momentum with quick scoring runs, trying to maintain their leads.

The Cougars opened up with a 12-4 run to start the second half and had a seven-point advantage early on. UVU battled back and went on a 8-0 tear to hold a one point lead for a brief moment. The Cougars then pressed on and gained a five-point lead.

For most of the game, the team with the lead rarely held onto it. For Chicago State, this was no exception. The Wolverines went on a 21-3 scoring run that sealed the victory and made any comeback impossible for the Cougars.

Despite battling back, the surge fell short and the Wolverines were victorious.

“I give Chicago State a lot of credit for always fighting back.” Hunsaker said. “They made a lot of big shots and a lot of big plays in this game.”

Junior guard Jason Johnson played well throughout the whole game pulling out a career-high of 24-points in a great winning effort in the back-and-forth battle.

“Jason Johnson had an exceptional game and the great thing it was a career high, a career game” Hunsaker said. “It was a winning effort and we’ve been on the short sides with some individual efforts fall short [in the past]”

With close games in the past, this isn’t the end of the road for both of these teams. Both teams are headed to the WAC and will continue to face off as conference foes and keep the competition high.

The Wolverines close out the season against future WAC competition CSU Bakersfield on March 2, paying homage to their seniors before the game.

Garrett is native of Orem, Utah. He is a graduate of Timpanogos High School. While in high school, Garrett enjoyed playing sports and was a double lettered athlete in football in wrestling. After a short stint of college football at Dixie State, Garrett made his way back to Utah Valley in pursuit of his aspirations of becoming a sports journalist. Garrett has been contributing for the UVU Review for three years and has covered sports, specializing in wrestling. Garrett is married to Jodi Coleman and served an LDS mission to Baguio Philippines. You can follow him on twitter @legendgary

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