March 6, 2014
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OREM, Utah - With at least a share of the WAC regular season championship already secured, Utah Valley University looks to secure the top seed and an outright conference championship against Bakersfield on Friday night in the UCCU Center.
It’s Senior Night and the final home game prior to next week’s WAC Tournament. Ben Aird, Taylor Brown, Keawe Enos and Holton Hunsaker will play their final home game and will be honored in a post-game ceremony.
Utah Valley won twice last week, defeating New Mexico State in overtime, 66-61, and Texas-Pan American in a low-scoring affair, 45-42. It’s been over two months since the UVU and CSUB opened the WAC season in Bakersfield. The teams met on Jan. 4 in the first-ever WAC game for both programs.
"Bakersfield is a very explosive offensive team and Coach (Rod) Barnes always has his team well prepared defensively," said UVU head coach Dick Hunsaker.
Bakersfield (12-17, 5-10) is led in scoring by Issiah Grayson at 16.0 points per game. Grayson is currently first in the WAC in 3-point percentage, hitting 47.6 percent, just in front of Enos.
In the earlier game between the teams, Aird scored 26 points and hauled in 13 rebounds with Zach Nelson scoring 22 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Grayson and Stefon Johnson led the Roadrunners with 15 points each. The Wolverines trailed 34-30 at the half but outscored the ‘Runners 52-40 in the second half to win 82-74.
Friday’s game features two coaches whose senior sons play for them. The Hunsakers, along with Coach Rod Barnes and his son Brandon, are two of 20 such father and son duos in NCAA Division I across the country.
The WAC Tournament quarterfinals will be next Thursday, March 13 from the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. If the Wolverines are the top seed they'll play at noon PT/1 p.m. MT and if they are the No. 2 seed tip off is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. PT/9:30 p.m. MT.