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Wolverines head east for test against GWC leader NJIT
Feb. 15, 2013
OREM, Utah -- Utah Valley University travels to Great West leader NJIT on Saturday for a 2 p.m. MT tip in a game that UVU needs to keep its hopes for a third straight conference title alive.
The Wolverines (12-13, 2-3) are also looking to avenge a 57-52 loss to the Highlanders (13-11, 4-1) on Jan. 5 in the UCCU Center.
"NJIT took it to us on our home court and came away victorious. On their court we'll be challenged to see if we can match their aggressiveness and intensity," Wolverine coach Dick Hunsaker said.
Hunsaker, who has 366 career wins as a college coach, is seeking his 200th victory at Utah Valley. He has amassed 199 wins now in his 11th season in Orem.
UVU has won two straight after picking up a home GWC win over Texas-Pan American last weekend and a victory on Monday over Northern New Mexico. A balanced offensive output helped UVU to wins in both contests; the Wolverines had four reach double figures against UTPA and five against NNMC.
Holton Hunsaker joined the 1,000-point club at UVU with a 12-point night, becoming the sixth player to reach the milestone. Zach Jones scored a career high 14 while Ben Aird finished with 16 points and a career-high 15 rebounds.
Led by preseason player of the year pick Chris Flores, NJIT has won two straight - both on the road - including a league win at Chicago State one week ago. Flores is the league's top scorer at 17.3 per game and also leads the Great West with 2.3 steals per game.
In the earlier game in Orem, NJIT closed the game on a 12-2 run to win despite a career night from Aird, who recorded the second triple-double in school history with 26 points, 13 rebounds and 10 blocks.
Aird leads the Great West in rebounds (9.0), blocks (2.0) and field goal percentage (.582).
The Wolverines will return home on Monday to host Pacific Union at 7:05 p.m. before heading to Houston Baptist for a league game next Saturday, Feb. 23.