It was the Best of Halves. It was the Worst of Halves

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Kyle McDonald, Sports Writer, @kylesportsbias

The title of this article pretty much sums up the night it was the UVU Men’s Basketball team tonight.  The Hornets of Sacramento State shot the Wolverines right out of the Gym as they made 10 3-point shots on route to a 74-49 victory over UVU on Saturday night.

Dylan Garrity led the charge for the Hornets as he scored a game-high 28 points.  He made 6 3-pointers and was a perfect 6-6 from the foul line.  The Hornets shot an impressive 55.8% on the night and made an even more impressive 10 3-point attempts.  Mikh McKinney chipped in 13 points to go along with 8 assists for the Hornets who improved to 6-5 on the year after beating Utah Valley for the second time this season.  Chad Ross came off the bench for the Wolverines to score 10 points and also grab 5 rebounds.  Mitch Bruneel chipped in 9 points and had 4 rebounds respectively for UVU.

This game was close with just under 4 minutes to play in the first half.  It was 30-29 at the fourth media timeout and after UVU holding the lead at 32-31 with 2:31 left to play in the half, they went ice cold for the rest of the game.  After Dylan Garrity made 2 free throws to give Sacramento State the lead, UVU couldn’t have hit water if they fell out of a boat.  The Hornets would outscore UVU 41-17 the rest of the way behind the hot shooting of Garrity.  Sacramento State used a soft press as well as a zone defense in the second half and it stymied UVU.  There was no penetration and no signs of aggression that helped UVU get a lead of 6 in the first half.  They were 0-14 from the 3 point line in the second half and shot a miserable 20% from the field.  They made as many 3 point attempts in the first half (5) as they made field goals in the second half.  Not a good statistic, especially when your opponent is shooting lights out from the field.

Every other stat was almost identical between the two teams except for the shooting percentage.  UVU had 14 turnovers.  Sacramento State had 13 turnovers.  UVU had 14 assists and Sacramento State had 13.  UVU had 29 rebounds and Sacramento State had 32.  So you can see that the biggest difference in the game was that Sacramento State was able to make shots and UVU just couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn.   UVU actually made more free throws in the second half than field goals.  It was a tough night for the guys in green and white.

There were times when UVU would show some life in the second half.  Cory Cardwell was a guy who got after it a few times when he attacked the basket and as able to get to the free throw line where he made both attempts.  He also had an amazing spin move that led to a layup which cut into the deficit but it just wasn’t enough as the Wolverines couldn’t overcome the poor shooting performance in the second half and fell to 4-8 on the season.