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Wolverines down Texas St. to break into win column

OREM — The Utah Valley State men's basketball team trounced visiting Texas State 77-45 in the Wolverines' home opener Saturday.

Junior guard Chris Bailey scored 15 points and had four assists to lead UVSC (1-2) in both categories. Senior guard Pierre Thomas added 14 points and seven rebounds for the Wolverines.

"This was a great win," UVSC coach Dick Hunsaker said. "This was terrific. We really needed a win — there was no question about it. We needed to play through some adversity, which we did tonight.

"We weren't real smooth (or) a well-oiled machine early on, but I thought as the game wore on we were poor and jagged at less extended periods."

The two teams were tied 16-16 midway through the first half, but the Wolverines broke the game open with a 30-6 run to close out first half and open the second.

Sylvester Allison's 3-pointer at the buzzer put an exclamation point on UVSC's 21-6 run to finish the half and put the Wolverines ahead 37-22 heading into halftime.

"I really think (Texas State) kind of lost their direction once we put that really good run on them at the end of the first half and really early in the second half," Hunsaker said.

Things didn't get any better for the Bobcats (0-2) in the second half. UVSC scored nine straight points in the first 90 seconds following halftime to extend its lead to 46-22. Two fast break lay ups by Matt Peterson highlighted the 9-0 run.

Towards the end of the game, the Wolverines pushed their lead over 30 points with a 10-0 run that included a pair of baskets by Thomas.

Texas State shot 29 percent from the field for the game and had only five field goals in the second half.

Charles Dotson led the Bobcats with nine points and 10 rebounds.

Allison (13 points) and Ben Devoe (11 points) also scored in double figures for UVSC.

The Wolverines' offense never got on track in two losses earlier this week at the Guardians Classic in Iowa in large part because Thomas shot a combined 7-for-18 from the field. But the silky smooth shooting guard from Chicago rebounded to go 5-for-7 from the field and 4-for-4 at the line against Texas State. "Last week I was kind of struggling a little bit," Thomas said. "I just felt like I worked hard during the week in practice and everything and just had a pretty good game tonight.

"My foot is getting better. But tonight, as the game went on it started to hurt a little bit. That's why Coach took me out at the end (with four minutes left). I'm just going day by day right now."

The Wolverines return to action Tuesday, when they host Western Illinois at 7 p.m.


E-mail: jaskar@desnews.com