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UVU basketball: Wolverines notch road win at UMKC

By Clint Burgi

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 9 2013 8:29 p.m. MST

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A trio of Utah Valley University players scored 18 points to lead the Wolverines (8-10) to a 78-66 road win at UMKC on Wednesday.

Ben Aird, Alfonzo Hubbard and Nick Thompson all finished with 18 points with Holton Hunsaker scoring 11 and Jason Johnson 10 as five UVU players finished in double figures.

Thompson also had nine rebounds and six assists while hitting 8-of-9 from the floor. Utah Valley shot 60.8 percent for the game including 17-for-22 (77.3 percent) in the second half.

“This was a very nice team win tonight,” coach Dick Hunsaker said. “We played smart and intelligent, had good ball movement and made good decisions. Our overall effort and spirit was very good.”

Up nine with just over six minutes left, Hubbard led the Wolverines on a 9-0 run pushed the lead to 18, 72-54. Hubbard scored seven during the spurt and also converted on a steal and an assist to Ben Aird before capping the run with two free throws.

UMKC (4-13) — from the Summit League — got no closer than 15 until a 3-pointer in the final minute cut the lead to its final margin.

The first half went back-and-forth with eight ties and four lead-changes and neither team leading by more than four. Thompson, who hit all four of his field goal attempts in the first half, had 10 while Hunsaker added nine points and had three steals by the break.

Johnson scored a bucket late in the half to break a 27-27 tie and, following one of Hunsaker’s steals, Thompson put back a miss to give Utah Valley a 31-27 lead at the half.

The Wolverines increased the lead to eight just out of the locker room on a pair of free throws and a layup from Aird. It was trimmed back to five before Keawe Enos drilled a three from the corner and Thompson found Aird for two to give Utah Valley a 47-37 lead with just over 13 minutes remaining.

The lead was seven when Thompson stole a pass and took it to the other end for two. On the next possession, Jason Johnson found Aird for two down low, giving UVU its biggest lead to that point, 63-52, with seven minutes left.

The ‘Roos were led by 15 points from John Burke and 10 each from Nelson Kirksey and Thomas Staton.

The Wolverines return home to Great West Conference action Saturday against Houston Baptist at 7:05 p.m. MT in the UCCU Center.

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