After opening the season with a rough 0-3 start, the men’s basketball team rallied together to put up back-to-back, dominating wins at home before grinding out a narrow victory over Oregon State in Corvallis, Ore., Dec. 1.
The Wolverines took the court the day after Thanksgiving, facing off against La Sierra in the UCCU Center. UVU built up a solid lead early, shooting 50 percent and accruing 54 total rebounds on their way to a 93-46 win.
The team played a well-coordinated game together as they posted the second-highest assist total in school history with 28.
Senior Justin Baker put up his first double-double of the season, coming off the bench with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Isaiah Williams led the Wolverines in points with 19, while Geddes Robinson and Shawn Deadwiler also shot in the double digits.
Continuing the strong offensive and defensive play on Nov. 25, UVU crushed Northern New Mexico in an 87-37 blowout.
The team managed to spread the ball around, with eight players scoring at least seven points. Williams led the team in points again with 15. Robinson barely missed out on his first double-double, scoring nine points with 11 rebounds.
The Wolverines repeated their 50 percent shooting performance while holding Northern New Mexico to only 24.6 percent.
Baker contributed to the stifling defensive play, posting three blocks with 10 rebounds. UVU pulled down 55 total rebounds for the game.
Following these two big wins, UVU took to the road travelling to Oregon State’s Gill Coliseum to take on the Beavers.
The men struggled on the road last year, winning only a single away game all season. Facing one the most challenging road tests of the season, the Wolverines were able to grind out a close 70-68 win.
Despite some close play, OSU ended the first half with a 33-26 lead. UVU refused to give the game to the Beavers, stepping up their play and out-rebounding the Beavers 29-11 in the second half.
As the game entered the final minutes, UVU held a narrow one-point lead over Oregon State before extending it to six with a 3-pointer by Holton Hunsaker and a driving shot by Robinson.
An OSU rally tied the game at 68 with 10 seconds left when they fouled Jordan Swarbrick to stop the clock. His two free throws returned the lead to UVU now up 70-68, leaving the Beavers enough time for one final play. An off target shot ended the game, giving the win to UVU.
Williams once again led the team in points, scoring 22 in the game. The other star was Swarbrick, who added 20 points and 11 rebounds on his way to a double-double.
UVU will play the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the University of Cincinnati on the road next week. They will play six more games over winter break, including a huge home game against Utah State on Dec. 18 at 7 p.m.