Dec. 11, 2013
OREM, Utah -- Holton Hunsaker scored seven of his team-high 14 points down the stretch as Utah Valley held off Weber State, 62-59, on Wednesday night at the UCCU Center.
Hayes Garrity knocked down two free throws with six seconds remaining, finishing with 13 points off the bench, and Davion Berry’s attempt to tie the game with a long 3-pointer fell short as time expired.
The Wolverines (4-5) and Wildcats (1-4) were meeting for just the third time since the 2005 season and the first time in Orem since Dec. 6, 2005. UVU stayed perfect at home against Weber State in three tries all-time, and moved to 4-0 at home on the season.
“This is a terrific win for us,” said UVU coach Dick Hunsaker. “Both of these teams have had a difficult early schedules. I was just pleased and proud that we were able to grind out a tough, hard-fought victory.”
The Wolverines out-rebounded the Wildcats 43-35, getting 18 on the offensive end. Zach Nelson finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds and four assists for UVU and Ben Aird scored seven, tying him for second on UVU’s all-time NCAA scoring list with current Orlando Magic guard Ronnie Price.
In the first half, Utah Valley led by as much as 10, taking a 21-11 lead when Garrity knocked down a three with 8:22 left. The lead was just two, 28-26, at the 1:35 mark before the Wolverines scored the last five points before the break.
Brenden Evans converted on a layup and Garrity scored on a runner with 1.8 seconds left and was fouled, hitting the free throw to give UVU a 33-26 lead at halftime.
A Mitch Bruneel jumper early in the second half gave Utah Valley what would be its largest of the game, 39-28, but the Wildcats answered with consecutive 3-pointers from Jordan Richardson and Berry, followed by two Berry free throws to get within three.
The Wolverines did not trail until Royce Williams hit a three from the corner, putting the Wildcats up 46-45 at the 11:26 mark. Weber State did not lead by more than one point and any time.
Trailing 52-51, Hunsaker nailed a long three from the top of the arc and then followed with a layup to put UVU up 56-52 with just over four minutes to go. Berry helped Weber State run off five straight though to jump back on top by one. He scored all five from the line on six attempts, the last two coming with 1:57 to go.
Hunsaker put UVU back in front with two from the line and Garrity knocked down a turnaround jumper with 45 seconds to go to make it a 60-57 game. Berry got Weber State within one on the next possession, but came up empty with an opportunity to give his team the lead with eight seconds to go. Berry couldn’t get a shot off and his pass was deflected and Hunsaker corralled it on the floor for one of his three steals.
Berry finished with 20 to lead all scorers, making 10-of-11 from the free-throw line, but the Wolverines limited the other top Wildcat scorers, Jeremy Senglin and Kyle Tresnak, to four and three points, respectively.
The Wolverines will play another in-state contest on Saturday at Utah State in the Spectrum. Tip from Logan is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
UVU vs. Weber 12/11/2013 from WolverineGreen on Vimeo.