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Wolverines Clinch Back-to-Back GWC Titles
Feb. 25, 2012
OREM, Utah -- Utah Valley University clinched its second straight Great West Conference championship outright with a 74-64 win over Texas-Pan American on Saturday night in front of a season-high 6,602 fans in the UCCU Center. The win extends the school-record winning streak to 13 games - the fourth longest current streak in the nation - and gives the Wolverines 20 wins on the year.
"The group of recruits that came in here two years ago was exceptional. Credit goes to them to win their second conference championship outright and to play as they have and to compete as they have," said UVU head coach Dick Hunsaker. "That old adage of toughness, competitiveness and physicality; this team brings those qualities to the game."
Isiah Williams scored 28 points and became the fourth UVU player to surpass 1,000 career points in the program's NCAA Division I era. Geddes Robinson, scored 15 points and hauled in 16 boards on a night the Wolverines (20-10, 9-0) held a 46-21 rebound advantage. Keith Thompson grabbed nine rebounds and Ben Airdpulled down eight to aid in the lopsided edge on the glass.
Texas-Pan American (11-18, 5-3) held a 13-11 lead seven minutes into the game before UVU would go on a run that helped build a 13-point Wolverine lead at the half.
Alfonzo Hubbardconverted on a 3-point play and Williams a tip-in to give Utah Valley a 16-13 lead. After Ruben Cabrera scored to again make it a one-point game, Williams hit a trey to start a 17-4 run, giving the Wolverines a 33-19 advantage with 4:05 left in the half.
Williams scored seven points during the run and finished the first half with 13 as UVU went into the break up 37-24.
Utah Valley maintained the double figure lead throughout the second half and ran it to as much as 18, 51-33, with 12:40 to go when Holton Hunsakerand Williams converted on consecutive treys.
The Broncs worked the deficit back to 10 with 9:52 to go but the Wolverines responded with buckets from Woods and Ben Aird. UTPA got to within 10 again, with 2:15 remaining, but sent Utah Valley to the line 12 times in the final 1:53 and the Wolverines converted on seven of their final eight from the line.
Hunsaker finished with 11 points for UVU while Woods and Hubbard had six apiece.
The five Utah Valley seniors; Rory Fannon, Robinson, Thompson, Williams and Woods were all honored prior to the game on Senior Night.
The 20 wins marks the most victories a UVU team has had since the 2006-07 season, when the Wolverines went 22-7 and won the United Basketball League.
Utah Valley will wrap up the regular season next Saturday at North Dakota. The Wolverines will be the top seed in the Great West Tournament, which begins March 8 in Chicago. UVU will automatically advance to the semifinals on Friday, March 9 at noon CT/11 a.m. MT against the winner of the No. 4 vs. No. 5 seed game.