OREM, Utah — Utah Valley University used a 17-0 run in the first half to take control of the game in notching its second straight win, 86-63, over Northern New Mexico on Monday night at the UCCU Center.
The Wolverines (12-13) had another balanced night offensively with five players in double figures including a career-high 14 from Zach Jones. Ben Aird and Antoine Hosley led the way with 16 each with Aird collecting a career-high 15 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season.
Holton Hunsaker and Jason Johnson each scored 12, while Keawe Enos added nine points for the Wolverines.
Hunsaker became the sixth player in the program's NCAA Division I history to surpass 1,000 career points with back-to-back treys to start the scoring for UVU. Taylor Brown followed with another triple to give the Wolverines an early 9-4 lead.
Holding an 18-15 edge with 11:43 left in the first half, Utah Valley blanked the Eagles for the next six-plus minutes, turning a three-point lead into a 20-point advantage thanks to a 17-0 run.
"The bench did a nice job and stabilized us in the first half. Collectively we were able to grind it out and made stops that turned some defense into offense," coach Dick Hunsaker said. "We got the win and we got a lot of guys playing time but it was a little more laborious than I would have liked it to be."
The Wolverines extended the run to 25-4 to lead 43-19 with 1:37 left in the half. UVU held a 46-22 lead at the break behind an even 50 percent shooting and by forcing 15 first-half turnovers that led to 25 points.
Northern New Mexico made an early run in the second half, trimming the lead to 14, but Utah Valley adjusted and slowly pulled away, leading by as much as 29 late in the contest.
The Wolverines hit 50 percent (8-16) of their 3-point attempts and shot 48.4 percent overall from the field. UVU turned 21 NNMC turnovers into 27 points on the night.
Johnson, who was named Great West Player of the Week earlier on Monday, and Hunsaker both dished out five assists. Brandon Jones led Northern New Mexico with 19 points, while Illyah Glover finished with 12 rebounds.
UVU now travels to Newark, N. J., for a match up on Saturday at Great West leader NJIT. Tip is scheduled for 2 p.m. MT.
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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