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UVU: Men's Basketball vs. FIU 2011

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Published on Jan 7, 2011

A trio of Utah Valley players combined for 74 points as the Wolverines (6-7) outlasted Florida International in a wild 95-92 shootout on Tuesday night in the UCCU Center.

Isiah Williams matched his career high with 26, Holton Hunsaker scored 17 of his career-high 25 in the second half and Jordan Swarbrick scored 20 in the first half and finished with 23 for the Wolverines.

Utah Valley dished out 19 assists and a committed a season-low nine turnovers while outrebounding FIU, 38-28. Hunsaker had a career-best seven assists and hit all eight of his free-throw attempts to go along with two steals.

Geddes Robinson hit double figures in rebounds for the third straight game, recording his second double-double with 10 points and 11 boards and Ben Aird added a career-high 10 rebounds and three blocks on a seven-block night for UVU.

"Terrific college basketball game," said Coach Dick Hunsaker. "The key was how we took care of the basketball. I was very pleased with our competitiveness. It was a real nice win for us."

Alex Legion scored 22 points - hitting six 3-pointers - to lead five Panthers (5-7) in double figures. FIU, a team coached by former Detroit Pistons guard Isiah Thomas, hit 13 shots from beyond the arc while UVU hit 10 treys and shot 53.4 percent overall in the ballgame. Florida International shot 49.2 percent for the game.

The Wolverines hit 11 of their first 15 shots to begin the contest and eventually stretched their first-half lead to 41-25 with 5:54 remaining. UVU held a 50-37 lead at the break after hitting a scorching 66.7 percent (20-for-30).

Five quick points to start the second half pushed the Wolverine lead to 18 before the Panthers began chipping away, using an 18-4 run to get within four. The Wolverines never surrendered the lead, though FIU kept it within single digits and eventually got within three, 81-78, with 5:16 to go.
UVU pushed its lead back to eight at 90-82 with 1:32 left and hit 11-of-14 from the free-throw line down the stretch to aid in the victory.

The Panthers made things interesting until the final buzzer as Eric Frederick hit a three with five seconds left to cut it to three. Following a UVU timeout, Jeremy Allen intercepted a pass at midcourt and nearly banked a shot in at the buzzer that would have sent the game to overtime. Utah Valley prevailed though, avenging an earlier 65-62 loss at FIU on Nov. 20.

"I have a great group of kids," Hunsaker said. "If you have character kids that keep competing, keep fighting, keep believing, things will work out and I think that character was displayed in the second half."

In the early-season game in Miami, FIU was without three players that were in the starting lineup and combined for 44 points in Tuesday's game; Legion, Phil Gary - who scored 17 - and Dominique Ferguson.

The 95 points are the most scored by a Utah Valley team in a regulation (non-overtime) game since a 96-66 win over IPFW on Feb. 3, 2007. The win for Hunsaker is also his second over FIU in his coaching career. In 1990, as head coach at Ball State, Hunsaker's club defeated the Panthers 105-50 in Muncie, Indiana.

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