DURHAM, N.C. — North Carolina Central University used a hot night from the field to run past Utah Valley University, 70-52, on Tuesday in the first of two games between the teams this season.
The Eagles (4-3) started the game 10-for-13 from the field and used runs of 11-1 and 15-6 in the first half to build a big lead by the break. NCCU held a 40-18 advantage at half time behind 61.5 percent shooting and finished the game at 56.8 percent overall.
“We didn’t have good bounce in our legs and they (North Carolina Central) came out with terrific energy and were very disruptive in all facets of the game,” UVU head coach Dick Hunsaker said. “Coach Moton did a wonderful job having his team prepared and hungry tonight.”
UVU scored eight of the first 11 points to start the second half to get within 17, at 43-26, but couldn’t make a bigger dent in the deficit. A 7-0 Eagles run followed to put the game out of reach.
Ben Aird led Utah Valley with 12 points and nine rebounds and Alfonzo Hubbard added 10, Holton Hunsaker seven and Zach Jones came off the bench and scored six.
Ray Willis led N.C. Central with 15 points, nine rebounds and four assists, while Stanton Kidd scored 14. Emanuel Chapman dished out nine of the Eagles’ 16 assists on the night.
NCCU makes the return trip to Orem for a contest Dec. 22 at 4:05 p.m. to close out the pre-Christmas schedule. Utah Valley will play four of its next six game at home inside the UCCU Center.
The Wolverines (3-5) played seven of eight games away from home during the November schedule and return home for just the second time Saturday against Pepperdine of the West Coast Conference. That game, which will wrap up a week of Homecoming festivities at UVU, will tip at 7:05 p.m. MT.
Clint Burgi is the assistant athletic director for sports information at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.