PULLMAN, Wash. – The Utah Valley University men's basketball team fell 72-49 to Pac-12 Washington State on Wednesday night in the opening game of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic at WSU's Beasley Coliseum.
"WSU came out with great energy and we simply failed to keep up," UVU head coach Dick Hunsaker said. "This is a game that we can teach from, especially since we were able to get multiple players extended minutes on the floor."
The Wolverines (1-2) hung tight early but couldn't keep pace with the Cougars' (2-0) outside shooting. WSU, who attempted only 13 three-pointers in its season opener against Eastern Washington, fired 16 bombs from the long range in the first half alone, connecting on seven.
Overall, the Cougars shot 59 percent from the field in the first half, helping themselves to a 45-22 halftime lead.
UVU kept at it in the second half as ten Wolverines saw the floor in the final 45 minutes. Ben Aird and Nick Thompson each scored six points in the second half, as both players found success attacking the WSU big men inside.
Keawe Enos also had a nice second frame, burying a pair of triples and playing solid defensive minutes.
Aird was the only double-digit scorer for the Wolverines, finishing with 10 to go along with five rebounds. Thompson and Jason Johnson each added eight, followed by Enos' six.
WSU had four players finish in double figures, led by 15 from Brock Motum – the Pac-12's leading scorer from a year ago.
After opening the 2012-13 season with three games on the road, UVU now returns to Orem for its home debut Saturday, Nov. 17, against Arizona Christian. From there, the Wolverines will resume play in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic, traveling to Santa Clara, Calif., for a trio of games over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Kellen Hiser is sports information assistant at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.