Jan. 7, 2012
OREM, Utah -- Utah Valley got two big 3-pointers from Holton Hunsaker and clutch free throws from Isiah Williams and Alfonzo Hubbard down the stretch as it held off a surging Seattle squad, 77-72, Saturday night in the UCCU Center. The game was the first of back-to-back meetings for the Wolverines with the Redhawks.
Williams scored a game-high 22 points, including 5-of-11 from three, while Keith Thompson added 17 and Hunsaker finished with 11. Ben Aird pulled down 12 rebounds to go along with eight points, and Hubbard added nine points off the bench.
"I thought we continued to compete and play through tough stretches," said Wolverine coach Dick Hunsaker. "At times we made it harder on ourselves than we should have. I was just real pleased and proud of the way our kids responded. That was a physical, talented team that we played."
Coming out of halftime with a 40-28 lead, UVU (8-10) saw Seattle (3-10) reel off a quick 12-4 run to cut the lead to 44-40 with just over 16 minutes to play. It seemed the Wolverines had weathered the storm when they responded with a 10-2 run of their own, highlighted by consecutive treys from Williams, to jump ahead 54-42 with 12:37 remaining.
But the Redhawks would storm back, putting together a 17-4 run to take their first lead since 18:28 in the first half at 59-58. The hot shooting of Jarell Flora propelled the run for Seattle as the freshman connected on three treys in the rally.
Seattle maintained a 68-67 lead with 3:40 left when Hunsaker caught fire from deep. He hit his first to push UVU ahead 70-68, then, after a Redhawk jumper tied the game, he drilled another to make the score 73-70 with two minutes to play.
With the score 75-72 after a pair of free throws from Williams, Flora got a good look from the corner for the game-tying three with 19 seconds left, but missed off the back iron. Hubbard then closed out the game with two more free throws.
UVU got a big first half from Thompson and Aird as it jumped out its halftime lead. Thompson scored 11 first half points and Aird had nine boards to lead both teams at the break.
The Wolverines will follow the Redhawks back to Seattle where they will conclude the back-to-back series with SU next Friday night. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. MT time at Seattle's KeyArena.