There hadn’t been so many people the Events Center since the debacle with the Utah Flash telling everyone in Utah County that Michael Jordan was going to be there. However on that night, the star showed up and so did the Wolverines.
The Wolverines showed the Utah Valley record crowd what they were made of with a 67-53 victory over the Broncs of the University of Texas-Pan American.
The Wolverines got off to a slow start in the first half, posting only 24 points and shooting 25 percent from the floor.
The crowd in the first half seemed to help UTPA more than it did Utah Valley. Before the break the Broncs posted 34 points, shooting 42 percent from the field and 42 percent from beyond the arc.
Utah Valley would come out from the break firing thanks to some inspiring words by the former player who was being honored that night, Ronnie Price.
“The second half of this game goes to Ronnie Price. Not only was he inducted into the UVU Hall of Fame, but after receiving his award he stepped into the locker room for a minute and had some terrific words of encouragement,” coach Dick Hunsaker said. “He told the kids to put that half behind them and get some energy, and not drop their heads because they had a whole half to play.”
With a 10-point deficit. the Wolverines started the second half with a 21-6 run to put them up five, 45-40 with 6:55 left in the game.
Once the Wolverines got the lead they would not look back from there. The closest the Broncs got was nine and some clutch free throws down the stretch would seal the victory.
Four Wolverines scored in double figures. Jordan Swarbrick led all scorers with 15 points, while Kevin Woods and Justin Baker both dropped 14 and Shawn Deadwiler added 11. Tyray Petty grabbed a season-high 12 rebounds and Baker pulled down nine.
With the win, Utah Valley is now 10-12 overall and 3-3 in Great West Conference play. The Wolverines will be on the road for four straight games but will be back home for two games March 4 against NJIT and March 6 against Seattle University.