Wolverines Bounce Back in a Big Way

Reading Time: 3 minutes

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Kyle McDonald, Sports Writer, @kylesportsbias

On Saturday night the UVU Wolverines got embarrassed on their home court.  A loss like that could demoralize a team especially a young one like coach Dick Hunsaker has this year.  That wasn’t the case on Tuesday night as UVU rebounded nicely and coasted to an 83-50 win over the Bristol Bears.

After a rough start to the game, UVU responded nicely as they would go on a 27-12 run to end the first half to take a 40-24 lead into halftime.  UVU had a really nice team effort in the first half as 9 guys scored for the Wolverines and they held a drastic rebounding advantage over the Bears at 25-11.  The Wolverines had more energy tonight and were more aggressive as time and again they got to the rim either putting in a lay-up or getting fouled and going to the free throw line.  Marcel Davis was the catalyst as his decisiveness when attacking led to a couple of great baskets for the Wolverines especially a big dunk by Brendan Evans with 7:30 to play in the first half to push the lead to 9 points.  UVU was relentless on the offensive glass as they had 7 offensive rebounds in the first half which led to some easy buckets. “We were a lot bigger, taller, stronger….expect to take advantage of that and I’m glad we did,” Coach Dick Hunsaker stated in regards to his team’s ability to rebound tonight. There was energy, tempo, and aggressiveness for UVU tonight and they needed it in a big way.

The second half was similar to the first as UVU continued to score, push, and be aggressive.  In the second half, Mitch Bruneel just took over.  People might not have paid much attention to his play because of the type of game it was, but Bruneel scored 14 of his 20 points in the second half and had all 8 of his rebounds in the second half as well.  He was a beast on the offensive glass as he had 6 offensive rebounds which kept possessions alive.  He even had a big dunk after picking up a loose ball which pushed the lead back up to 19 points.  “We just needed to regroup and play together,” Bruneel stated in reference to the mindset of the team tonight.  “When I defend and I’m engaged in the game, the offense just kind of comes to it,” he stated when asked about his effort tonight.

Overall it was a great team effort for the Wolverines.  12 or 13 players scored and everyone played at least 7 minutes which has “been a blessing,” according to Coach Hunsaker.  UVU shot 50% for the game which was well above the 33% they shot in the loss to Sacramento State and they scored their second highest point total for the season.  Donte Williams chipped in 13 points and 4 rebounds for UVU including three 3-point baskets and a breakaway dunk off an assist from Eli Robison with 5:38 to play that gave the Wolverines a 25 point lead. It was the exclamation point on a good win for UVU.

Tade Keshishyan led Bristol with 12 points and Alex Mendiola scored 11 to pace the Bears who were playing 1 of their 19 road games to start their season.  Not an easy task to do in your first year as a college basketball program.

Heading into WAC play, UVU knows they have their work cut out for them.  “The games mean a little bit more and I hope that will inspire us as a team, us as players and those games will mean something and we’ll be ready to play.  A much needed win to build confidence going into conference play was exactly what the doctor ordered on this night and a boost of confidence to go with it as UVU cruises to the easy win.