OREM, Utah – Nick Thompson’s season-high 20 points led five players in double figures as Utah Valley University ran past Arizona Christian, 96-70, in the home opener Saturday at the UCCU Center.
The Wolverines (2-2) used a 17-4 run to close the first half and seize control of the game. UVU led by as much as 30 in the second half.
Ben Aird added 17 points, while Taylor Brown established a new career high with 15. Alfonzo Hubbard scored 14 and Keawe Enos finished with 10. The Wolverines got 32 points off the bench with Brown and Enos combining for 25.
UVU shot 58.6 percent from the field for the game, getting 7-of-10 from Aird and 8-for-13 from Thompson.
“It’s certainly good to get a home game win under our belt to start the year. I know the kids are happy to be home,” head coach Dick Hunsaker said. “It was good to get off the road and get a little energy in our tank.”
Enos started the half-ending run with a 3-pointer followed by a Holton Hunsaker jumper and two Aird free throws to extend the lead to 10. Brown’s bucket with 1:10 to go in the half gave UVU a 47-31 lead at the break.
The Wolverines quickly extended the lead to 20 with a bucket by Thompson less than two minutes into the second half. After a layup by Charles King got Arizona Christian within 18, 58-40, with 15:50 left, Hubbard hit a three to extend it 21. The lead would get no smaller the rest of the way.
UVU dished out 20 assists on the night including five from Hunsaker and four apiece from Jason Johnson and Thompson, who also hauled in seven boards. Aird blocked a trio of shots, while Will Sinclair finished with two blocks.
Jordan Block led the Firestorm with 14 points.
Utah Valley heads to Santa Clara, Calif., for three games as part of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic during Thanksgiving week. The Wolverines face Eastern Washington on Tuesday, host Santa Clara on Wednesday and USC Upstate on Friday.
Clint Burgi is the assistant athletic director for sports information at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.