deseret news

CHICAGO — The Utah Valley University men's basketball team, playing without injured starters Ben Aird and Alfonzo Hubbard, dropped a 62-54 Great West Conference decision to Chicago State on Saturday.

UVU's Nick Thompson recorded his second double-double of the season with 16 points and 13 rebounds, while Jason Johnson and Holton Hunsaker had 11 and nine points, respectively.

"Chicago State played multiple defenses and kept the pressure on us. Seventeen turnovers is hard to overcome when trying to win on the road," Utah Valley University basketball coach Dick Hunsaker said. "I was pleased with the way that we never gave up and competed the entire game."

With the loss, the Wolverines fall to 9-12 overall and 1-3 in GWC play, while the Cougars, who are now 3-8 all-time against the Wolverines, improve to 7-15 overall and 2-1 in conference play.

The two teams traded baskets for the first 12 minutes before the Wolverines, who trailed by two with 9:17 left in the half, went on a 9-0 run to take their largest lead of the game at 23-16.

The Cougars, however, closed out the half on a 19-2 run to take a 10-point lead at 35-25 at the break.

Hunsaker drilled a 3-pointer and Thompson hit a jumper to open the second half as the Wolverines cut the lead to five with 18:36 left in the game, but that was as close as they would get.

The Cougars led by as many as 18 in the second half. The Wolverines, however, cut the lead to nine at 58-49 with a 9-0 run with less that two minutes left in the game.

Senior Zach Jones, who made his first career start, trimmed the lead to nine again with a foul shot with one minute left in the contest, and Hunsaker hit two foul shots to cut the lead to seven at 61-54 with 45 seconds left.