UVU basketball: Wolverines begin two-game WAC trip at Idaho on Thursday

By Clint Burgi

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 15 2014 5:08 p.m. MST

UVU faces off against Idaho on Thursday.

UVU Athletics

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Off to a 2-0 start in WAC play, Utah Valley University hits the road for a pair of league games this week starting Thursday at Idaho. The game tips at 8 p.m. MT from the Kibbie Dome in Moscow and will air on 960 AM the Zone.

The Wolverines (8-7, 2-0) got 21 points and a career-high 15 rebounds from Ben Aird in a 65-58 win — their third straight — over Grand Canyon last Saturday. Utah Valley had just three turnovers in the game, a school-record low, in moving to undefeated in WAC play.

Idaho (7-11, 1-3) split two games last week in league play. Thursday marks the first meeting between the two programs.

“Idaho is a really fundamentally sound team and is well coached,” UVU head coach Dick Hunsaker said. “They play hard and do a good job of keeping you off balance defensively.”

In the first of the two games last week, Idaho scored a dramatic win at Texas-Pan American when Perrion Callandret’s buzzer-beater gave the Vandals an 86-85 win in double overtime. In the second game of the week, Idaho fell at league favorite New Mexico State, 78-54.

Senior Stephen Madison leads the team and ranks second in the WAC in points per game (17.2) and rebounds per game (7.9). Connor Hill is scoring 13.9 points, and Utah transfer Glen Dean is averaging 11.9 per game for sixth-year head coach Don Verlin’s squad.

Utah Valley has four players averaging in double figures led by Holton Hunsaker’s 12.6 points per game. Ben Aird is scoring 11.7, Zach Nelson 11.6 and Hayes Garrity 10.6. Hunsaker leads the WAC with 4.4 assists per game.

The Wolverines will play at Seattle U in a rare Sunday afternoon contest to wrap up the trip. That game is set for 2 p.m. MT from Key Arena.

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