|Vandals host Utah Valley|
MOSCOW, Idaho – The Idaho men’s basketball team is back home for five of its next six games, beginning Jan. 16 when it hosts Western Athletic Conference foe Utah Valley to the Cowan Spectrum for a 7 p.m. tipoff. Thursday’s game will be televised regionally on SWX.
Students who attend Thursday’s game will get a free raffle ticket with the chance to win an Apple TV, which will be given away during the game courtesy of the VandalStore. Raffle tickets will be available at the marketing table near the student entrance.
Idaho enters Thursday’s game at 7-11 overall and 1-3 in WAC play, while Utah Valley is 8-7 on the season and 2-0 in the WAC. Idaho split a pair of WAC road games last week, beating Texas-Pan American in double-overtime before falling at New Mexico State. The Wolverines have conference wins over Bakersfield and Grand Canyon.
Idaho is led by senior Stephen Madison, who averages 17.2 points and 7.9 rebounds per game, both of which lead the team and rank second in the WAC. Madison’s 2.4 assists per game also lead the team. Junior Connor Hill, Idaho’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made, adds 13.9 points per game for the Vandals and senior Glen Dean averages 11.9.
Utah Valley has gone with the same starting lineup of Holton Hunsaker, Ben Aird, Zach Nelson, Mitch Bruneel and Keawe Enos in all 15 games this season. UVU leading scorer Holton Hunsaker (12.6 points per game) is the son of head coach Dick Hunsaker. The Wolverines are 8-7 overall but just 1-6 away from home this season. The Wolverines lone road win did come in WAC play, however. Aird averages 11.7 points and 7.5 rebounds per game for the Wolverines, while Nelson adds 11.6 points per game and Hayes Garrity adds 10.6 points per game off the bench.
Thursday’s game will be the first all-time meeting between Idaho and Utah Valley. The Vandals will make the return trip to Utah Valley on Feb. 15 in Orem, Utah. The Vandals stay at home to host Bakersfield on Jan. 18 before visiting Grand Canyon on Jan. 23. After that one-game trip, Idaho will be at home for WAC games against Seattle U (Feb. 1), New Mexico State (Feb. 6) and Texas-Pan American (Feb. 8).