A rare opportunity presented itself to the UVU men’s basketball team last week in its home matchup with Seattle University. Not only was it senior night for the Wolverines, but they had a chance to beat a team that had beaten one of the big three in the state of Utah.
In a January meeting with the University of Utah, the Redhawks knocked off the Utes 77-74 in the Huntsman Center. It’s a small motivation, and probably doesn’t mean much, but for a university looking to belong, it could be viewed as a small accomplishment to hang their hat on.
It turned out to be an opportunity that passed the Wolverines by without much resistance as they fell to Seattle 74-64 in the non-conference season finale.
Senior night failed to motivate when the Wolverines fell behind 13-5 in the early going. A short run by the Wolverines cut the deficit to two at 15-13, but an offensive attack with nothing materializing continued to haunt UVU throughout the first half.
Unable to break anyone down off the dribble and without an offensive-minded big man, points were hard to come by for UVU in the half court. With minimal transition opportunities to score in the open court, the Wolverines found themselves being left in the dust down 38-29 at the half.
The length of the Redhawk defenders, along with a full court press put on for much of the second half, gave the Wolverines fits offensively. The finely tuned machine of the team from Seattle continued to roll on both ends of the floor.
“We had no rhythm because of their pressure. When a team pressures you, you have to make some plays,” UVU coach Dick Hunsaker said. “We had opportunities to make baskets, but we didn’t do a good job of that.”
Fighting to get back into the game, the Wolverines cut the Seattle lead to nine with 12 minutes remaining in the game when Eric Dearden scored on a reverse layup in transition off a Tyray Petty steal.
UVU’s Aaron England began to heat up from distance, knocking down three threes in the half, but the inability of the Wolverine defense to get a stop rendered his hot touch useless in the second half.
The win for Seattle gave them a sweep of teams from Utah as they beat UVU twice along with Utah and Weber State.