Photo by Brigham Berthold
With Thanksgiving break behind them, Utah Valley University men’s basketball, women’s basketball and wrestling look to get into the heart of the nonconference schedule. The men’s and women’s basketball teams have an opportunity to collect some wins with weak schedules during the week. Meanwhile, the wrestling team will compete in a prestigious tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The men’s basketball team will travel to Pullman, Washington Wednesday to take on Washington State. This will be only the second trip the Wolverines have every made to Pullman. WSU beat UVU 72-49 in the last meeting, which came in 2012. The Cougars finished dead last in the Pac-12 last season with an overall record of 9-22 and 1-17 in conference.
The Wolverines will finish out the week at home against UT San Antonio. UTSA is coming off a 5-27 season, where it finished last in Conference USA. UVU bested the Roadrunners last season 83-78 in San Antonio. J.R. Harris led the Roadrunners with 19 points in 26 minutes against UVU in 2015.
The women’s basketball team begins the week at home against Pepperdine. The Waves are coming off a season with an overall record of 7-24, a conference record of 2-16 and finished second to last in the West Coast Conference. Pepperdine may be the only team the Wolverines face all season that is younger than they are with one senior, one junior and the rest of the roster filled out with underclassmen. This is the first meeting between the two teams.
UVU will then head to Colorado Springs, Colorado to play in the Air Force tournament. On Friday, the Wolverines will take on Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. The Cougars played to an 18-13 record last season, including 12-4 in the Ohio Valley Conference. UVU’s opponent and game time for Saturday will be determined by results of the tournament.
After a successful outing at the Harold Nichols Cyclone Open, the wrestling team will be on the road again this week as it heads to Las Vegas to take part in the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Collegiate Wrestling Invitational at the Las Vegas Convention Center Dec. 2-3.
The high-profile tournament features 37 Division I wrestling programs from around the country. Of the participating teams, 10 are nationally ranked including three top-10 teams in Ohio State, Virginia Tech and Cornell. Individually, four top-ranked wrestlers will be competing in the tournament.
At last season’s CKLV Invitational, the Wolverines finished 25th out of 39 teams and had no wrestlers place, although the now graduated Chasen Tolbert and Derek Thomas wrestled in the quarterfinals.
After a first-place finish at the Harold Nichols Cyclone Open, junior heavyweight Dustin Dennison finds himself nationally ranked at 20th entering the tournament.
Reporting by Brad Curnow, Devin Olsen
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