Dec. 10, 2011
OREM, Utah -- Holton Hunsaker scored a career-high 26 points and three other Wolverines finished in double figures as Utah Valley captured a back-and-forth 93-87 win over Portland State in the UCCU Center on Saturday night.
Hunsaker set a school record by hitting all 16 free throws he attempted, the most made with out a miss in UVU's NCAA history. He converted on 12 straight down the stretch as the Wolverines (6-5) made 33-of-35 on the night.
"That's something that has always been of staple here and it's something that's been missing so far," said coach Dick Hunsaker. "They (Portland State) have a very fine team and I was just real pleased with our effort. Our backcourt was as consistent as it's been this season and I thought we did a good job defensively. Everyone had a big hand in the win."
Isiah Williams scored 20 for UVU as the starting backcourt combined to score 46 points, nearly half of the team's output on the night.
The teams went punch-for-punch in an extremely even first half that saw 13 ties and 11 lead changes and was tied 39-39 at intermission.
In the second half, the Wolverines led by four when a dunk by Keith Thompson - on a feed from Williams - gave the UVU its largest lead to that point, 61-55 with 11:12 remaining.
Thompson's jam triggered an 11-5 run that featured a pair of tough jumpers from Williams and a long three from Taylor Brown. Another fast break layup from Williams would make the lead 72-60 with 7:44 left, forcing a timeout from the PSU bench. Two minutes later, Hunsaker followed a steal with an open layup at the other end to give UVU its largest lead of the game, a 76-62 advantage.
The Vikings (5-3) - of the Big Sky Conference - chipped away at the deficit behind the play of Charles Odum, who scored 24 points, and Chehales Tapscott, who finished with 17 points and 12 boards.
PSU got within two, 85-83, with just 35 seconds remaining, but Hunsaker and Kevin Woods
combined to hit eight free throws in the final 30 seconds to preserve the victory for the Wolverines.
Ben Aird added 15 points to go with five rebounds and three blocks and Geddes Robinson also finished in double figures, scoring 11 points and grabbing five boards.
In addition to Hunsaker's scoring, the sophomore also had four steals and four rebounds. His night at the line ranks second in school history for free throws made in a game. Former Wolverine Ryan Toolson, who ranks second in NCAA history in career free throw percentage, holds the record with 20 made in 2009 at Chicago State.
UVU returns to action next weekend, when it hosts Georgia State of the Colonial Athletic Association. The contest is set to tip at 7:05 p.m. in the UCCU Center. Following that game, the Wolverines embark on a pre-Christmas road trip to the University of Maine and the University of Montana.