SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Utah Valley University senior Alfonzo Hubbard scored a career-high 19 points, but it was a late run the sent Santa Clara University to a 75-67 win in a back-and-forth contest Wednesday night in Northern California.
The game featured 10 ties and 15 lead changes before a 16-0 run allowed the West Coast Conference’s Broncos to remain perfect on the season at 4-0. The loss dropped the Wolverines to 3-3 on the year and ended a two-game winning streak.
“We’re a team with some upside. As we continue to gain confidence and cut down on errors we’re going to keep getting better,” head coach Dick Hunsaker said. “We forced some things that we didn’t need to we’ve got to do a better job defensively. For the most part though I was pleased with how we came out and played and how we scrapped and hustled.”
Nick Thompson added 11 points and Antoine Hosley chipped in 10 for the second straight night for the Wolverines. Santa Clara got a combined 50 points from its two preseason All-WCC picks: Marc Trasolini, who scored a season-high 29 on 10-for-12 from the floor, and Kevin Foster, who added 21 points along with five steals.
UVU closed the first half with six straight to go into the break up four, 36-32. A Hubbard bucket followed by layups from Jason Johnson and Thompson – the latter with two seconds left in the half – gave the Wolverines the four-point edge.
The Wolverines trailed 41-40 with 16:25 left when a pair of free throws from Hubbard started a 9-0 spurt the took less than two minutes. After Thompson scored to give UVU a 44-41 lead, Hubbard scored the next five points to push it to eight, 49-41, with 14:29 left.
SCU came right back, scoring seven straight over the next minute and a half. The Broncos extended the run to 12-2 to take a 53-51 lead before Taylor Brown hit the second of two 3-pointers on the night and Johnson got free for a layup to give a three-point lead back to Utah Valley.
That lead was short-lived though. A bucket by Evan Roquemore got the home team within one and Foster followed with a layup for the final lead change of the night. Trasolini scored six points during the decisive run.
Roquemore scored 14 and handed out six assists for Santa Clara, while Johnson and Holton Hunsaker both chipped in seven for UVU. Ben Aird matched Trasolini for a game-high seven rebounds with Will Sinclair hauling in a career-best six boards.
The Wolverines shot 53.1 percent from the field, while the Broncos hit on 46.6 percent.
Santa Clara’s 4-0 mark includes three wins in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic including a 12-point win at Saint Louis. Utah Valley is 1-2 with one game remaining Friday at 2 p.m. PT/3 p.m. MT against USC Upstate. That game can be heard live on 960 AM the Zone.
Clint Burgi is the assistant athletic director for sports information at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.
Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company