Dec. 8, 2012
TROY, Ala. Holton Hunsaker scored a career-high 32 points and Ben Airdset a new school record with seven blocks as Utah Valley University outlasted Troy University, 86-82, in double-overtime on Saturday night at Trojan Arena.
Hunsaker, who scored 13 in the first half and 19 thereafter, connected on five 3-pointers and dished out six assists. Aird finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds, scoring all of his points and recording six of his blocks after halftime. Jason Johnson added 16 while Nick Thompsonhad 12 rebounds and seven assists.
Down two in the waning seconds or regulation, Alfonzo Hubbard'sput-back as time expired tied the game at 66-66 and forced overtime. Hubbard would finish with 11 points and eight rebounds.
"To come off of the Weber State game and to travel across the country and to have the kids respond with a gritty performance like this is special. We played with a never-give-up attitude," said head coach Dick Hunsaker. "Hopefully this will develop and firm the character of this team as we move forward."
The Wolverines (5-6) trailed by six at the break, 34-28, after a slow-shooting first half from the field. The game quickly worked into a back-and-forth contest after UVU made an 11-0 run five minutes into the second half.
Hunsaker hit a trey to give UVU its first lead since early in the game. Johnson and Aird both scored before Hunsaker ended the run with a jumper to give Utah Valley a 45-38 lead. From there the lead would change hands 12 more times before being decided.
In the first overtime, Utah Valley trailed by three when Hunsaker knotted it at 73-73 on a 3-pointer with 1:25 to go, forcing overtime number two.
In the second OT, a layup by Hubbard put Utah Valley led by one, 77-76, Hunter Williams hit a three to put Troy up two with 3:09 left. The Wolverines responded with a decisive 8-0 run from there to give UVU the win in the first of two games between the schools this month.
Thompson's driving layup with 2:49 left tied the game before Hubbard scored and hit a free throw to make it 82-79. Hunsaker followed with a backbreaking 3-pointer with 1:20 left that capped the run and gave UVU a six-point lead.
Troy had six players in double figures led by 17 from Ray Chambers. Emil Jones and Tevin Calhoun both grabbed nine rebounds and Antoine Myers added eight assists for the Trojans.
After shooting 29.3 percent in the opening half, Utah Valley connected on nearly 60 percent in the second half and hit 57.1 percent in the overtimes, to finish at 45.3 percent for the game. Troy shot 40.7 percent for the game.
Utah Valley returns home for finals next week and will host Utah State on Saturday, Dec. 15. The Wolverines face Troy again on Dec. 19 before closing out the pre-Christmas schedule on Dec. 22 against North Carolina Central. All three games leading up to Christmas will be at home in the UCCU Center.