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State colleges: New Mexico State hands Utah Valley its first WAC loss

Published February 2, 2014 8:13 pm

State colleges • Hunsaker leads UVU with 15 points.
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Daniel Mullings scored 21 points and hauled in eight rebounds as New Mexico State dealt Utah Valley its first Western Athletic Conference defeat with a 72-49 rout Saturday night in Las Cruces, N.M.

The Aggies (17-7, 6-2) shot an efficient 56.8 percent from the field and outrebounded Utah Valley 31-20.

Utah Valley (13-8, 7-1) was led by Holton Hunsaker with 15 points and Ben Aird chipped in 10.

NMSU led by five at the break and opened the second half with a quick 8-2 run to make it 41-30 after a Mullings jumper.

The Wolverines kept within 10 as Hunsaker made a layup to make it 57-47 with 4:59 left, but the Aggies surged away from there, closing the game on a 15-2 run.

With the win, NMSU is now just one game back of Utah Valley in the conference standings.

Montana St. 54, Southern Utah 52 • In Cedar City, A.J. Hess scored 14 points to lead SUU, but the Thunderbirds (1-18, 0-10) remained winless in Big Sky Conference play. Flavien Davis scored 16 points for Montana State, including the game-winning basket with 31 seconds left to play.

Women's basketball

BYU 88, Pacific 57 • In Stockton, Calif., Jennifer Hamson had 25 points, 18 rebounds and seven blocks as the Cougars trounced the Tigers. Lexi Eaton added 19 points for BYU (17-5, 7-4 WCC), Morgan Bailey had 17 and Kim Beeston added 15.

BYU shot 58 percent from the floor while holding Pacific (11-10, 6-5) to 27 percent shooting.

Sacramento St. 111, Weber St. 104 • In Ogden, the Hornets set a Big Sky Conference scoring record in their victory over the Wildcats (4-15, 0-10). Kalie Matthews came off the bench to score a team-high 22 points for Weber State. Gigi Hascheff scored 27 points for Sacramento State (14-5, 6-4).

Montana 81, Southern Utah 73 • In Missoula, Mont., Hailey Mandelko matched her career high with 27 points for SUU, but the Thunderbirds (12-7, 6-4) lost the Big Sky Conference game.

New Mexico St. 83, Utah Valley 78 • In Orem, Katie Kuklok scored 24 points for Utah Valley, but the Wolverines (4-17, 1-7) came up short in the Western Athletic Conference game.

SLCC 68, Colorado Northwestern 33 • Summer Yack scored 20 points as Salt Lake Community College won its 16th straight game and handed coach Betsy Specketer her 400th win at the school. In her 18th season, Specketer has a 400-165 overall record with the Bruins.

Men's volleyball

No. 4 BYU 3, No. 5 USC 2 • In Los Angeles, Josue Rivera had 15 kills at the Cougars beat the Trojans 6-25, 25-22, 15-25, 25-20, 15-10.


Utah's Kristiina Rove and Ana Kobal finished 1-2 in the women's slalom at the Colorado Invitational in Steamboat Springs.

Utah slipped to fourth after day two with 437 points, just one point behind third place Colorado (438). Denver continues to lead the meet (512) followed by New Mexico (443) in second.

Track and field

Utah's Nikkie Rudder won the weight throw at the Mountain State Games in Pocatello, Idaho, with a mark of 57 feet, 4.2 inches. Utah's Aoife (56-05.5) placed third.

• Utah State's Chari Hawkins won the high jump at the New Mexico Team Invitational in Albuquerque, setting a school record with a mark of 6 feet.

Rivera leads No. 4 Cougars in 3-2 win

Men's volleyball

No. 4 BYU 3, No. 5 USC 2 • In Los Angeles, Josue Rivera had 15 kills at the Cougars beat the Trojans 6-25, 25-22, 15-25, 25-20, 15-10.

LOS ANGELES—Josue Rivera led No. 4 BYU men's volleyball to victory against No. 5 USC Saturday, pulling off a season-high 15 kills in the 3-2 (16-25, 25-22, 15-25, 25-20, 15-10) road contest.

It was a strange match, rhythmically," BYU head coach Chris McGown said. "We alternated playing very well and very poorly. We managed to find a way to grind out a win, and it was a real testament to the work ethic of the guys."

Rivera hit .370 on the night, also adding eight digs and three blocks. Senior Taylor Sander contributed 14 kills and eight digs, helped out by Tyler Heap's 41 assists. Heap also set a career high in blocks with five to lead the Cougars (7-3, 7-1 MPSF).

BYU out-blocked the Trojans (5-3, 4-3 MPSF) 13.5-12 to make up for losing the kills battle 63-50.

BYU vs. USC Box Score

Down 2-1 in the overall score, BYU fell behind 5-1 in the fourth set but inched back on a 4-1 run. Carson Heninger tied the score at 10 on an ace. A Heap and Hatch block put the Cougars ahead for the first time in the set 13-12, and Heninger followed up with a kill.

Sander shut down a long rally with an attack USC couldn't return to put BYU ahead 22-18. A Trojan service error put BYU in set-point position, setting up Michael Hatch and Heninger to take the set 25-20 on a block.

The Cougars and Trojans started the fifth set neck-and-neck until a Heninger kill launched a 5-0 run. Rivera and Devin Young blocked USC's Cristian Rivera for the 8-3 BYU lead. The Cougars held on to take the set on a Trojan attack error 15-10.

"I thought we finally got a handle on the game plan and started executing that a little bit better toward the end of the match, and I thought that was big for us," McGown said. "We finally got in some of the right spots, started making some blocks, started making some digs."

BYU came out slow to start the match, with USC taking control of the first set 11-8 and quickly increasing that to 15-10. The Cougars couldn't come up with a response and let the Trojans run away with a 25-16 win.

In the second set, the Cougars got off to a 3-1 start with the help of back-to-back kills by Young. USC tied up the score 4-4, launching a series of six ties before BYU strung together a kill and a block to go up 11-9. Three Trojan attack errors increased the Cougar lead to 14-0.

After leading by as many as six points, BYU allowed USC to get back in the game down the stretch. A USC block cut the lead to 23-22, but Sander held off the Trojans on a kill, and Heninger came up with a solo block to end the second set 25-22.

USC broke away from an early 4-4 tie to take a 12-7 lead in the third set. A 4-0 Trojan run put USC ahead 16-8, and BYU couldn't recover, dropping the set 25-15.

The Cougars head to Riverside, Calif., for a match against Cal Baptist Monday at 7 p.m. PST to finish off this road trip, then take the rest of the week off. After that, BYU's next match is at Pacific Feb. 14.

"I think the single biggest focus for me is can we get some rest on Sunday, and regenerate and recuperate some energy, and then be able to bring 100 percent of it to the match on Monday," McGown said. "Cal Baptist is a good team, so we're going to have to play hard and we're going to have to play clean to win."




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