Utah Valley State 83, South Dakota 56

Utah Valley State 83, South Dakota 56

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Orem, UT- The Utah Valley State men's basketball team picked up its 19th win of the season by beating South Dakota State 83-56 on Saturday at the McKay Center.

The win gives the Wolverines a 19-7 record and a 6-1 mark in the United Basketball League. South Dakota State dropped to 5-21 and 1-6 in UBL play.

Utah Valley shot 56 percent from the field for the game and had four players in double figures led by Ryan Toolson's 20 points on seven on 11 shooting from the field. Toolson has had 20 points or more in five of his last six games.

"What can say about Toolson?" Utah Valley State coach Dick Hunsaker said. "He continues to play at an exceptional level."

Chris Bailey chipped in 13 points, five assists and four rebounds while Richard Troyer had 12 points and five rebounds. Peter Brown tied his career high of 10 points, previously set in the 66-54 win at South Dakota State in January. Brown also had three rebounds and two blocks.

As a team the Wolverines had 18 assists to only seven turnovers. Matt Peterson had a team-best six assists.

Utah Valley's defense held South Dakota State to 38 percent shooting and forced 17 turnovers.

"We were able to get some ball movement, make some shots and create a few things out of our defense," Hunsaker said. "We shot the ball well in this game and took care of the ball well."

Trailing 7-6 early in the game, the Wolverines scored eight straight points to lead 14-7 four minutes in thanks to a 3-pointer by David Heck, a free throw by Bailey and baskets by Brown and Jordan Brady.

South Dakota State got within two at 16-14 four minutes later after two free throws by Thomas Bassett. Utah Valley then went on an 18-3 run, that was capped off by a Toolson 3-pointer, to lead 34-17 with 8:32 left until halftime.

The Wolverines biggest lead of the first half was 21 points at 40-19 following a 3-point play by Bailey. Utah Valley led 43-27 at halftime.

UV maintained its double digit lead in the second half as South Dakota State got no closer than 12 points.

Utah Valley plays its final two road of the season next week when they play at IPFW on Thursday and New Jersey Institute of Technology on Saturday.

The Wolverines conclude the season at home on March 3 at 7 p.m. against Texas-Pan American. It will be the final game for seniors Peter Brown, Chris Bailey, David Heck and Matt Peterson.

"I am real fortunate to have a nice team here," Hunsaker said. "Everybody has made special, meaningful and influential contributions through out the course of the year. We have three big ball games left and I am real excited to have those games come forward."

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