CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Utah Valley got 21 points from Holton Hunsaker and a double-double from Geddes Robinson, but couldn't keep up with Chattanooga in a 74-59 loss on Friday night in the Dr Pepper Classic championship game.
Robinson, who was named to the All-Tournament Team, had 11 points and 10 rebounds and Hunsaker hit five 3-pointers, but the Mocs (6-8) pulled away late behind a balanced attack.
"I was pleased with how we competed and fought throughout the game," said Wolverine coach Dick Hunsaker. "We just have not been able to do a good job of getting everybody on the same page on a given night."
The Wolverines (7-9) also got 12 points from Keith Thompson and had 15 assists — eight from Isiah Williams — to a season-low six turnovers. But 49 percent shooting from the host Mocs helped keep UVU at bay all night.
Both teams jumped out of the chute quickly. Hunsaker matched a pair of treys from tournament MVP Keegan Bell with two of his own. Chattanooga, the team picked to win the Southern Conference's North Division, hit its first six shots from the floor — including three 3-pointers — to take early control.
The Wolverines trailed by 11, after Omar Wattad hit one of his five 3-pointers, before an 8-1 run — keyed by two more Hunsaker triples — got UVU with four, 30-26, at the half.
Utah Valley stayed within striking distance and trailed by five, 43-38, with 11:38 remaining. Chattanooga gradually worked the lead back into double digits and scored seven straight to take an 18-point lead to put the game out of reach late.
The Mocs got 19 from Wattad to lead four in double figures with Ricky Taylor adding 16 and Bell adding 15 points and seven assists. Drazen Zlovaric also contributed 11 points and 10 rebounds for UTC.
The Wolverines return home for a pair of games next week beginning Tuesday, Jan. 3, against a 12-2 Wyoming team that defeated UVU earlier this season in Laramie, Wyo. The game can be seen live nationally on Fox College Sports. UVU then hosts Seattle on Saturday, Jan. 7, in the first of two consecutive games against the Redhawks.
Clint Burgi is the assistant athletic director for sports information at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit http://www.WolverineGreen.com