Nov. 14, 2011
HOUSTON - Utah Valley University stayed within striking distance but fell short in its first road game of the season, 84-71, at the University of Houston on Monday night.
Isiah Williams led UVU with 19 points while Geddes Robinson had another double-figure rebound performance. Robinson hauled in 15 boards - eight offensive - to go along with nine points and Keith Thompson also reached double figures with 11 points.
"We battled and competed and had certainly had some bright spots tonight that I hope we'll be able to build on," said UVU head coach Dick Hunsaker. "Houston is an outstanding team. They're very athletic and can score in multiple ways."
Houston, which has reportedly been offered an invitation to the Big East Conference, took advantage of 37 free throws compared to 11 trips to the line for the Wolverines.
The Cougars (2-0) got a game-high 20 points from Alandise Harris, 19 from Joseph Young and 17 by Kirk Van Slyke off the bench.
After the Wolverines raced out to an early 10-3 lead, Houston used a pair of runs to help build a double-digit lead late in the first half. The Cougars scored 10 straight to take a 13-10 advantage and later used a 13-2 spurt to go up 14, 40-26, with just over three minutes left before halftime.
Williams led an 11-3 surge over the final 2:30 to get UVU within six by the break. He scored four points, assisted on a Taylor Brown 3-pointer and after a layup by Rory Fannon, stole the inbound pass and scored with four seconds to go to make it 43-37 after at the break.
After halftime, Utah Valley closed within three on multiple occasions and trailed by four, 57-53, with 12:34 left after a bucket by Robinson. Young stretched the lead to 10 after his second trey in three possessions made it 65-55 with 11:21 to go.
The Wolverine deficit was nine, 78-69, with 3:06 left after a pair of free throws from Keawe Enos, but the Wolverines would get no closer.
UVU returns home to host Grambling State on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the UCCU Center before closing out Homecoming Week against UMKC on Saturday at 7 p.m. live on Fox College Sports nationwide.