UVU men’s basketball holds on late for win over San Diego Christian

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Marcel Davis records first-ever double-double in UVU win

OREM —After leading by as many as 27 points in the second half over the San Diego Christian Hawks, the Utah Valley men’s basketball team fought off a late run in the final minutes to defeat the Hawks, 88-79.

Marcel Davis led all scorers on the night with 20 points, then recorded his first-career double-double by tacking on 11 rebounds.

“Marcel is on an unbelievable run, he’s playing terrific,” UVU head coach Mark Pope said. “He’s been really, really good for a month now.UVUMbbvsSDC1-91-35 He’s doing everything for us and he’s carrying a huge load and he knew that he was going to have to do that this year, and for us to be competitive, he’s going to have to up his game another level, and I think he’s ready to do that.”

The Wolverines shot just 33 percent through the first 10 minutes of play, but found their stroke by finishing off the half at 47 percent and shooting 48 percent from the field for the game. The Hawks countered with 47 percent shooting on the night, including 42 percent from three point range.

After the slow start, Jaden Jackson knocked down a pair of free throws to to give UVU a 29-28 lead, which sparked a 13-5 run to close out the final 5:22 of the first half.

“We just weren’t playing at our speed,” Davis said. “Once we picked up the pace, started rebounding, and getting stops, then we started playing well and started playing together and made a little run.”

The Wolverines never trailed again. UVU rode a 15-3 run for the middle of the second half and opened up a 27-point lead with 7:56 remaining.

The Hawks fought back by putting together a 22-7 run of their own and managed to cut the Wolverine lead to 82-73 after a three-pointer by SDC guard Mark Eden. UVU answered every SDC basket the rest of the way and never let SDC get any closer.

UVU opens WAC play by hosting the defending conference champion New Mexico State on Thursday at 7 p.m. MST at the UCCU Center.