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Utah Valley win streak halted by South Dakota

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VERMILLION, S.D. — Utah Valley University's four-game winning streak came to an end Saturday night with an 89-85 loss to South Dakota.

The Wolverines led by one with five minutes left on a 3-point play by Ben Aird, but the Coyotes, the defending Great West Conference champions, took the lead for good on a foul shot by Louie Krogman with 4:25 left.

USD went on to lead by as many as seven down the stretch, and UVU couldn't recover.

"The better team won this game tonight," UVU coach Dick Hunsaker said. "We didn't answer the bell when we needed to. We had an opportunity to win this game and had our chances to get control of it."

UVU trailed by eight with 16 minutes left but put together a 13-0 run, fueled by six points from Isiah Williams, to lead 55-50 with 12:48 left.

USD regained a three-point lead with 6:32 left before UVU strung together a 5-0 run, capped by Aird's three-point play, to give UVU its final lead of the game at 73-71 with five minutes left.

With the loss, the Wolverines drop to 10-9 overall and 2-1 in Great West Conference play, while USD improves to 9-10 and 1-1 in league play.

UVU ends the road trip to the Dakotas 1-1. On Thursday night, the Wolverines outlasted North Dakota, 107-96, in quadruple overtime.

Jordan Swarbrick led the Wolverines in Saturday's game with 22 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field, including 4-of-5 from the 3-point line. Aird added 19, while Williams and Geddes Robinson had 18 and 10 points, respectively.

The score was tied or the lead changed hands seven times in the first half. At the 17:09 mark of the half, USD held its largest lead of the half at six points at 10-6 on a 3-pointer by Louie Krogman.

UVU, however, answered with seven straight — a jumper by Aird, a 3-pointer by Holton Hunsaker and a layup by Robinson — which gave the Wolverines their first lead of the game at 11-10 with 15:43 to go in the half.

UVU led only one other time in the half, on a layup by Williams with 12:32 left. The Coyotes built a five-point lead on a layup by Charlie Westbrook, who had 19 points in the half, only to see UVU tie the score at 34-34 on a layup by Robinson with 2:26 left.

The Wolverines didn't score the remainder of the half and trailed 37-34.

Utah Valley shot 44.1 percent from the game, while outrebounding USD 38-37. South Dakota shot 50 percent from the field despite shooting just 7-of-24 from the 3-point line.

Westbrook led the Coyotes with 29 points, while Krogman added 19.

The Wolverines are back in action Thursday night when they host Chicago State in the UCCU Center.