Utah Valley extended its winning streak to four games in a hard-fought defensive battle between the top two teams in the Great West Conference, beating North Dakota 72-64 to open Great West Conference play and improve their record on the season to 11-10.
“We anticipated it would be a very physical, back-and-forth match,” UVU head coach Dick Hunsaker said. “Them coming off the conference championship, having won three games here last time they were in the arena they really competed hard and I have a lot of respect and I think they do a good job with their program.”
Utah Valley guard Holton Hunsaker only scored two points in the first half, but he opened the second half of the game feeling he need to help scoring with both Ben Aird in foul trouble and Isaiah Williams struggling. Hunsaker hit two 3-pointers that were both assisted from Isiah Williams. Hunsakerr would go on to score 14 points in the second half on his way to 16 points for the game.
“Holton’s played better offensively scoring the ball on a regular basis,” coach Hunsaker said. “[His] confidence is rising and to be honest he’s getting healthy and getting his handle back. Again, you have to play within the team and Holton’s strength is within the team and any time he steps too far outside that team he can get himself in trouble. He did have a good feel again. He is moving in the right direction with his game right now.”
The Wolverines had four players score in double figures led by Alfonzo Hubbard with 17. Hunsaker added six assists to go with his 16 points, Williams finished with 12 and Keith Thompson chipped in 11 points in the win for UVU.
UVU’s next conference game will be Thursday, Jan. 26 at the UCCU Center against Chicago State, who entered conference play with a record of 1-16.
By Zach Smith