Utah Valley outlasts Weber in duel

Utah Valley outlasts Weber in duel

(Deseret News)



Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

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OREM — Not playing for a day can cause mild amounts of rust in a basketball player’s game.

Not playing for more than 10 days can make playing basketball seem like an almost foreign task, no matter how intense practice has been. Weber State learned this lesson the hard way Wednesday in Orem as the Wildcats struggled early and often against Utah Valley.

While both teams started slow, the Wolverines eventually prevailed over the Wildcats, beating Weber State 62-59 in a non-conference game at the UCCU Center.

“Utah Valley beat us up tonight,” Weber coach Randy Rahe said. “I thought they deserved a lot of credit; they did a nice job. They’re very tough, they’re very physical, (and) they run their stuff very well.”

Utah Valley held an early 8-7 lead at the 13-minute mark, and Weber used a Joel Bolomboy dunk to put the Wolverines’ lead to 12-9. From there, though, UVU went on a 16-10 run to take a 28-19 lead going into the final media timeout of the first half.

However, Weber’s Davion Berry started a Wildcat run to end the half, cutting the score to 28-22. Then, Jeremy Senglin hit a 3-pointer from the right angle to cut the deficit to three. UVU got the last points of the first half though, courtesy of Hayes Garrity, to give the Wolverines a 33-26 lead at halftime.


I did feel like we were really out of sync. I didn't think we had any kind of rhythm. … We didn't flow really well. We just didn't do a lot of things real well in that first half.

–Randy Rahe


The Wildcats shot only 37.9 percent in the first half, a struggle Rahe attributed to taking time off from playing.

“I did feel like we were really out of sync,” Rahe said. “I didn’t think we had any kind of rhythm. … We didn’t flow really well. We just didn’t do a lot of things real well in that first half.”

The first four minutes of the second half were punctuated by a series of Weber dunks and a Berry three, yet Utah Valley still led 39-34. Joel Bolomboy got the Wildcats within a score though, to bring Weber State to within three, 42-39.

A Richaud Gittens' trey brought the Wildcats to within a point at the 12-minute mark, 43-42. UVU’s Zach Nelson responded with a lay-in though, triggering a back-and-forth war between the two schools. Weber took its first lead on a Royce Williams trey, 46-45 with 10:46 left in the game, but Chad Ross laid in a UVU basket to reclaim the lead for the Wolverines.

Williams again tied the game on a 3-pointer at the 7:14 mark, tying it at 51-51. However, Holton Hunsaker hit a 3-pointer to give the Wolverines a 54-52 lead. Hunsaker then had a lay-in to increase the UVU lead back up to four.

Still, the two teams were separated by a point, 56-55, with two minutes left. Berry gave the Wildcats a one-point lead on free throws, yet Garrity gave the Wolverines a 60-57 lead on a step-back jumper with 39 seconds left. Berry made a quick lay-in, and the Wildcats fouled Hunsaker to put him on the line.

Hunsaker, the son of UVU coach Dick Hunsaker, missed the first free throw of a one-and-one, giving Weber one final chance. The possession turned into a scrum, and UVU was able to corral the loose ball and call timeout to effectively end the game.

Utah Valley out-rebounded Weber State 43-35. Both teams shot under 40 percent.

The Wildcats will now prepare for an exhibition against St. Katherine College on Dec. 17. Utah Valley plays at Utah State on Saturday.

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Jon Oglesby

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