Weber State Sharp Shooting Holds Off UVU Comeback

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Tim Castaneda, Sports Writer

UVU men’s basketball dropped its sixth-straight contest in a 73-61 loss Saturday at Weber State University despite 21 points from forward Mitch Bruneel and a comeback surge that saw the team take a lead early in the second half.

The Wolverines’ strong first-half push continued early into the second half, as they scored 14 unanswered points to take their first lead of the game one minute into the period. Following back-to-back layups from Zach Nelson and Donte Williams, UVU led 32-31.

After a Williams steal that lead to a breakaway dunk for Bruneel on the other end, the Wolverines stretched their short-lived lead to 34-31 with 17:50 to go.

Despite allowing UVU back into the game after leading by as many as 14 early-on, strong shooting by Weber State from beyond the arc helped the Wildcats rally in the second half for the victory. Richaud Gittens, who finished with 21 points and shot 5-for-8 from 3-point range, ended UVU’s run on a 3-pointer to put the Wildcats ahead for good.

“Weber came out with a lot of aggression and a lot of assertiveness and I thought we did a great job,” said UVU head coach Dick Hunsaker. “We made two terrific comebacks in the game to take the lead in the second half. They made too many threes, too many shots and we give them credit.”

Weber State outscored UVU by 27 points from the 3-point line, converting on 12 of their shots from deep, compared to only three 3-pointers made for the Wolverines.

The Wildcats shared the wealth on the offensive side of the ball with four players reaching double figures in scoring for the night. Guard Jeremy Senglin followed Gittens’ lead with 16 points on 5-for-11 shooting, while also tallying eight assists. Weber State’s Joel Bolomboy and Chris Golden each finished with 11 points.

“Weber State had some personnel out there,” said coach Hunsaker. “With their length, athleticism and explosiveness in that back line, and quickness in that back court. They have a very fine team. I thought we fought and I was very impressed with our efforts.”

Bruneel was the only Wolverine to reach double figures in this game behind 6-for-8 shooting and making nine free throws. He also finished the night with nine rebounds, one block and an assist.

Brenden Evans and Nelson scored nine points apiece and Williams followed with eight points for the struggling Wolverines.

The loss pushes UVU men’s basketball to a 3-7 record on the year.

UVU men’s basketball next faces Idaho State at home Dec. 23 at 7:05 p.m. MT as the team searches for its first victory in nearly a month.