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UVU basketball: Utah Valley travels to Pepperdine

By Clint Burgi

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, Nov. 22 2013 3:27 p.m. MST

OREM - Utah Valley University plays game three of a five-game road swing Saturday at Pepperdine of the West Coast Conference. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. PT at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, Calif.

The game can be heard live on 960 AM the Zone and UVU's website, and Pepperdine will video stream for free. Saturday will mark the 100th career game and start for senior guard Holton Hunsaker, who has started more games than anyone in program history.

The Wolverines (2-2) have lost two straight after starting the season 2-0, with both losses coming at the hands of nationally ranked opponents. After a loss at No. 7 Oklahoma State on Nov. 12, the Wolverines fell to 17th-ranked Oregon on Tuesday, 69-54. Against the Ducks in Eugene, UVU trailed by just four at halftime before a scoring drought in the second half ended its hopes of a big upset. Mitch Bruneel and Hayes Garrity had 15 points each for Utah Valley.

UVU defeated Pepperdine in overtime, 67-63, in the first-ever meeting between the schools on Dec. 1, 2012. Hunsaker scored 22 and Ben Aird added 19 for the Wolverines, while Stacy Davis led all Pepperdine returners with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Davis, last season’s West Coast Conference newcomer of the year, was named the league’s player of the week on Nov. 18 after averaging 23.5 points in road wins at UC Riverside and Central Michigan last week. Davis leads the WCC with 22.8 points per game and has scored at least 20 in each game so far this season.

“Pepperdine has been playing great basketball,” UVU coach Dick Hunsaker said. “They really stretch the defense with their great 3-point shooting and their offensive execution has been exceptional.”

Pepperdine started 3-0 before dropping an 83-77 contest at home Wednesday to San Jose State. It took the SJSU shooting 10-for-15 from the 3-point line in the second half to edge the Waves.

Third year head coach Marty Wilson graduated from Pepperdine in 1989 and has a coaching career that includes an assistant stint at Utah.

Utah Valley will play the final two games of its road swing on Nov. 30 at Tennessee Tech and Dec. 1 at South Dakota. The Wolverines return home to face St. Katherine on Dec. 7, nearly a calendar month since its last home game on Nov. 11. UVU will also host Weber State on Dec. 11.

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