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UVU basketball: Wolverines host Summit League favorites Monday

By Clint Burgi

For the Deseret News

Published: Sunday, Dec. 22 2013 5:48 p.m. MST

Utah Valley University hosts Summit League favorite North Dakota State on Monday to close out the pre-Christmas schedule. Tip is set for 7:05 p.m. MT from the UCCU Center with the game airing live on 960 AM the Zone.

The Wolverines (5-6) look to remain unbeaten at home this season when the Bison (9-4) come to Orem after securing a 90-82 win over Towson on Saturday night. UVU is coming off a 103-64 victory over Haskell on Friday.

“North Dakota State has a very balanced scoring attack. They are experienced and play together extremely well,” UVU head coach Dick Hunsaker said.

In UVU's victory over Haskell, Ben Aird led the way with 20 points and Hayes Garrity had 19 off the bench, joining all five starters to reach double figures in scoring. The 103 points is Utah Valley’s highest output since Jan. 20, 2011, at North Dakota. Holton Hunsaker had a season-high eight assists in the win and the Wolverines also shot a season-best 55.2 percent from the field.

North Dakota State is 31st in ESPN's and CBS Sports' RPI ratings and is ranked 20th in the CollegeInsider.com’s Mid-Major Poll. The Bison and Wolverines have met seven times before, with NDSU owning a 4-3 all-time lead. Neither team has lost a home game in the series with the most recent matchup a 63-56 Bison win last season in Fargo.

The Bison are lead by the Summit League’s Preseason Player of the Year, Taylor Braun, who is averaging 18.8 points per game. Braun, Marshall Bjorklund and Lawrence Alexander were named first team All-League in the preseason.

Monday will be UVU’s third and final contest against a team from the Summit League this season. The Wolverines opened the year with an eight-point win over IUPUI in Orem and lost by four at South Dakota on Dec. 2.

Following a short Christmas break, the Wolverines will play their final non-conference game of the season Saturday, Dec. 28, against Tennessee Tech. The game is a rematch of a 74-71 TTU win on Nov. 30 in Cookeville, Tenn.

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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