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Fort Wayne, IN- The Utah Valley State men's basketball team picked up its 20th win of the season when they beat IPFW, 72-63, on Thursday. The win gives the Wolverines a 20-7 record and a 7-6 mark on the road. Utah Valley has won seven straight games and remains in first place in the United Basketball League with a 7-1 record.
"We are on top of it and I am really proud of our players," Utah Valley State coach Dick Hunsaker said. "It means something to them. It is our championship."
IPFW dropped to 10-16 and 4-3 in UBL play. The loss ended IPFW's three game-win streak. DeWitt Scott and Demetrius Johnson led the Mastodons' with 14 points.
The Wolverines finished with three players in double figures led by Ryan Toolson's 16 points and two steals. David Heck and Richard Troyer each scored 14. Joe Walker came off the bench to score eight points and grab seven rebounds. Jordan Brady also had seven boards.
The Wolverines shot 40 percent from the field and 86 percent from the free throw line. UV took good care of the ball, turning it over only seven times.
"I thought we competed and played hard," Hunsaker said. "It was just a real good team effort. I thought every player had a hand in this win."
The Wolverines led for nearly the entire contest. Trailing 9-6, five minutes into the game, Utah Valley went on an 11-2 run to take a 17-11 lead following a Troyer 3-pointer with 11:26 to play in the half.
IPFW then scored the next six points to tie the game at 17 two minutes later. The Mastodons' later took a brief 27-26 lead with 3:57 left until halftime.
The Wolverines outscored IPFW 12-3 over the final four minutes of the first half to lead 38-30 at the break after Josh Olsen knocked down a basket at the buzzer. Troyer scored 11 of his 14 points in the first half.
In the second half, Utah Valley led by as many as 13 points at 52-39 following a Toolson jumper with 11:21 left in the game. IPFW got no closer than six points the rest of the way.
The Wolverines return to the court on Saturday when they play at New Jersey Institute of Technology on Saturday. Tip off is at Noon and the game can be heard live on 1400 KSTAR.