OREM — Some laws of sport are subject to change. "A win is a win" will always stay carved in stone, but "the numbers never lie" is something UVU head basketball coach Dick Hunsaker took exception to in Monday night’s 86-63 win over Northern New Mexico.
“You’ll find these statistics can be kind of misleading. You look at these stats and you watched that game and you’ll say that doesn’t quite match up,” Hunsaker said with a chuckle.
“The game turned out with the result we like. We got a lot of guys playing time, but it was a little more laborious than I’d like the game to be. Northern New Mexico had won six out of their last seven games and they came out with spirit. They out-athleted us, which is a bit disappointing. But other than that, it was nice to get a victory.”
Coming out of halftime, the Wolverines held a comfortable 46-22 lead. Northern New Mexico chipped away at the 24-point deficit while UVU didn’t find the bottom of the net for over four minutes. The Eagles never made a serious run at a win, but the intense, full-court press they employed was a handful for the Wolverines.
“We know what to do against the press,” Hunsaker said. “We’ve been pressed in every game this year. But if you don’t do what you're supposed to do against the press, if you don’t execute and you don’t play aggressive, you can’t make a decision. I thought we took care of the ball very well but sometimes we need some guys to make a little bit better choice and be a little more aggressive. When we didn’t attack, we let their press get some teeth and some energy. Once we finally started attacking it, the press disappeared and we started making some baskets.”
Junior guard Antoine Hosely scored 16 points for the Wolverines, and his athleticism helped break the press.
“We were in the wrong spaces at some times,” Hosely said. “It was kind of hard for us to get it up the court. But once we figured it out, started passing it around and getting up court, we found out how to break it easier.”
UVU shot 48 percent from the field, 50 percent from beyond the arc and 72 percent from the free-throw line, while the Wolverines' bench outscored the Eagles 38-19. For Hunsaker however, the game was what it was and not much more.
“You don’t want to read too many negatives or positives out of a game like this,” Hunsaker said. “The guys off the bench did a good job, energized us, stabilized us and competed better. Collectively we were able to grind out and make stops. The sore spot of this statistically is 41 points in the second half.”
The Wolverines improve to 12-13 and look to pull even at .500 Saturday as they travel to New Jersey to take on NJIT at 2 p.m.