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UVU basketball: Wolverine men host Utah State on Saturday

By Clint Burgi

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, Dec. 14 2012 3:14 p.m. MST

OREM, Utah - After playing nine of its first 11 games away from home, Utah Valley University returns to the UCCU Center to host in-state foe Utah State on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. MT. The game begins a three-game home stand that will close out the pre-Christmas schedule.

Fox College Sports will air the game live nationwide, and it can be seen in Utah County on UVU TV and online at WolverineGreen.com. Altitude TV will tape-delay and re-air the game at 10 p.m. MT. FCS can be found on channel 623 on DirecTV and on channel 264 on Comcast. Altitude TV can be found on Ch. 61 (Comcast) Ch. 681 (DirecTV) and Ch. 410 (Dish Network).

The Wolverines (5-6) have won two out of three with both wins coming in overtime. Last Saturday's 86-82 win at Troy lasted two overtime frames with Holton Hunsaker scoring a career-high 32 to earn the Great West Player of the Week award for the second straight week. Ben Aird blocked a school-record seven shots while scoring all 18 of his points in the second half.

Jason Johnson added 16 points and Alfonzo Hubbard chipped in 11 with Nick Thompson matching his high with seven assists while Hunsaker dished out six. UVU will face Troy again, next Wednesday, Dec. 19, in Orem.

Aird leads the Wolverines on the year with 13.0 points and 7.7 rebounds per game while Hunsaker averages 10.8, Hubbard 9.8 and Thompson 9.3 per game.

Utah State enters Saturday's game having won four straight including two wins over common opponents with Utah Valley. The Aggies (5-1) defeated Weber State at home (65-55) and won at Santa Clara in overtime (80-78).

Big man Jarred Shaw is averaging 14.7 points and 9.8 rebounds to lead USU with WAC preseason Player of the Year Preston Medlin scoring 14.0 per contest. Utah State was picked to win the WAC by the media. Medlin was tabbed the Player of the Year while Shaw, an Oklahoma State transfer, was selected as the Newcomer of the Year. Another transfer, 6-foot-11 Matt Lopez from LaSalle, will make his USU debut on Saturday.

"This is a typical Utah State team," UVU head coach Dick Hunsaker said. "They're big inside and quick on the perimeter with good outside shooting. Shaw and Lopez give them size and versatility up front. Medlin is one of the best players in the WAC and scores in such a variety of ways. They provide a lot of difficult match-ups for us."

The Aggies, who will move to the Mountain West Conference next year, post one of the top rebounding margins in the country, third overall, at +15.0 per game. Coach Stew Morrill picked up his 350th win at USU in a victory over Western Oregon last weekend.

After hosting Troy on Wednesday, Utah Valley will host another school it has faced on the road in the early-going when North Carolina Central comes to town Saturday, Dec. 22. The first game after the Christmas break will be Dec. 28 against Austin Peay at the Dr Pepper Classic in Chattanooga.

Clint Burgi is the assistant athletic director for sports information at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.

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