The conclusion of the semester break marked the end of the preseason for the UVU men’s basketball team. After dropping the three final non-conference games against Cal, Furman and UT Arlington, the Wolverines are back and ready for conference play.
After hosting Chicago State in the conference opener, the Wolverines prepare to welcome North Dakota, another Great West Conference foe, to the McKay Center on Thursday Jan. 14, with a 7 p.m. tip-off.
The Fighting Sioux will come to town fresh off a loss to Big 12 power Texas A&M, a game the Aggies ran away with 82-41. In the losing effort Derek Benter led the Fighting Sioux with 11 points, but the North Dakota scoring threat can come from a host of different players.
In the Fighting Sioux’s last three games they have been led in scoring by three different players. Against Northern Illinois, Chris Clausen’s 16 points led North Dakota. In a win over St. Olaf College they were led by Travis Bledsoe’s 15 and in a loss to Iowa State Travis Mertens tallied 11 points.
While North Dakota is boasting a dismal 2-14 record the Wolverines can ill afford to take the fighting Sioux lightly. While UVU has struggled on the road this season, it has been more than competent in the friendly confines of the McKay Center. This alone should give the Wolverines a decided advantage as North Dakota has failed to win on the road thus far this season.
In order to secure a win the Wolverines will look to newcomer Corey Claitt and senior Jordan Swarbrick to lead the Wolverines offensively. Justin Baker continues to be a force in the post and Jourdain Scoubes is always a threat from beyond the arc.