Utah State’s alley-oop and dunk combo with 1:15 left in the game was the exclamation point on their 76-58 blowout over Utah Valley University Saturday night.
The 7,124 fans that attended the game Saturday night, a division I school record, created a charged atmosphere both teams were able to use in the first half. Despite the physical play, neither side pulled ahead, changing the lead five times and never leading by more than 4 points.
In the second half, the Aggies started capitalizing on their physical play, out-rebounding the Wolverines 40-29 and scoring 17 points off rebounds for the night. Free throws contributed another 12 points toward the Aggies 43 second half total.
Isiah Williams and Holton Hunsaker were the only two UVU players with double-digit point totals. Williams led the team with 22, while Hunsaker scored 10 on the night.
Despite his excellent performance, Williams was not happy with the results saying, “Going off offensively on a loss doesn’t mean anything.”
By way of contrast, four USU players managed at least 10 points, with one double-double on the night. USU also led in every major statistical category.
Coach Dick Hunsaker liked the play and energy of the first half saying, “The crowd lifted us in the first half,” adding that the team “couldn’t ride it in the second. A couple of breakdowns at the end of the first half set the tone for the second.”
The crowd also made an impression on Williams. “It was crazy. It was the most packed it’s been all season,” said Williams.
Coming off the road on a two-loss streak, Utah Valley faced a tough opponent against Utah State that has only lost to nationally ranked BYU and Georgetown this year.
“I don’t know, in my career, if I’ve ever see a WAC-level team with this caliber of starts,” said Coach Hunsaker, “The fact that we did man up in the first half shows progress.”
Williams added, “Best team we’ve played this season, in my opinion.”
Utah Valley falls to 4-6 on the season with this loss. UVU will play Mayville State at 7:00 PM on Monday, December 20 in the UCCU Center.