WINCHESTER — In their first four games of the season, the Umpqua Riverhawks have had a different player step to the forefront for the men’s basketball team.

Wednesday night was Hayden Wood’s turn.

The Rexburg, Idaho, freshman went off for 19 points — including a scorching 5-for-7 from behind the arc — and the Riverhawks raced to a 26-point halftime lead on their way to a 100-70 victory over visiting New Hope Christian.

“It seems like every game, we get a lot of good things from our main guys, and another guy steps up,” UCC coach Daniel Leeworthy said. “Hayden was really active defensively (three steals). His decision-making is getting better and his ability to shoot has really gotten better.”

Umpqua’s size advantage was evident throughout the game, even before one second had ticked off the clock.

Cameron Benzel, the ’Hawks 6-foot-7 forward, was sent to go after the jump ball against 7-2 Russian Phillip Zhilin. Benzel won the tip, and the ’Hawks’ bench erupted.

Kolten Mortensen, a 6-7 sophomore from Santaquin, Utah, led all scorers with 24 points on 10-for-14 shooting for Umpqua and added seven rebounds. Akoi Yout (6-7, Calgary, Alberta) added 14 points and seven boards off the bench.

Umpqua shot 56.8 percent from the floor and scored 52 points in the paint.

“When we were playing smart, that’s when we got some really good looks at the rim,” Leeworthy said. “Our bigs had a really good effort down low.”

Both teams struggled to get going early on, with New Hope leading 14-12 six minutes into the game. Then Wood and Yout helped key a 17-2 run over the next five minutes, and the visitors wouldn’t challenge the rest of the way.

Isaac Lungren helped spark another run late in the first half. After Lungren canned a 3-pointer, Wood stole the New Hope inbounds pass and Brock Gilbert found Lungren for a dunk to push Umpqua to a 41-27 lead. Mortensen’s putback off a missed Lungren three made it 46-29, and Lungren’s driving finger-roll at the rim pushed the Riverhawks’ lead to 20 with 2:30 left in the first half.

“That’s been the theme so far for us, going on those little runs,” Leeworthy said. “All of our guys are good at running the floor. We’ve got really quick bigs and we’re good in transition. You can fill up the box score pretty quick.”

Gilbert, held to just two points, dished out 14 assists for Umpqua. Through four games, the sophomore point guard leads the Northwest Athletic Conference with 12.8 assists per game. He turned the ball over just twice in Wednesday’s win.

The Riverhawks (4-0) are back in action at 7 p.m. Friday night when they host the University of Oregon club team.

NEW HOPE CHRISTIAN (70) — Jaylen Rose 6-10 2-2 16, Sayles 3-6 1-2 9, Hughes 3-3 1-2 7 Zhilin 4-9 1-1 9, Knox 4-13 0-1 8, Hudson-Haynes 2-3 0-0 5, Ameen 0-2 3-4 3, Frank 1-5 0-0 3, Hunter 1-1 1-1 3, Kay 4-10 3-5 11. Totals 28-62 12-18 74.

UMPQUA (100) — Kolten Mortensen 10-14 1-21 24, Gilbert 1-4 0-0 2, Lungren 7-14 1-1 17, Fredrickson 2-2 0-0 4, Benzel 3-4 0-0 6, Perry 0-0 0-0 0, Quinton 2-4 0-2 5, Campbell 1-2 0-0 2, Love 1-3 0-0 2, Ugodo 2-2 1-2 5, Wood 7-10 0-0 19, Yout 6-12 2-3 14, Hubbard 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 42-74 5-10 100.

Halftime — UCC 58, NHC 32. 3-Point Goals — NHC 6-16 (Sayles 2-3, Rose 2-3, Knox 0-4, Hudson-Haynes 1-1, Ameen 0-1, Frank 1-3, Kay 0-1), UCC 11-29 (Gilbert 0-2, Lungren 2-8, Mortensen 3-6, Quinton 1-2, Campbell 0-1, Wood 5-7, Yout 0-1, Hubbard 0-2). Total Fouls — NHC 12, UCC 16. Fouled Out — none. Rebounds — NHC 30 (Zhilin 9), UCC 34 (Mortensen, Yout 7). Assists — NHC 7 (Sayles, Knox 2), UCC 34 (Gilbert 14). Turnovers — NHC 19, UCC 9.

Donovan Brink can be reached at and 541-957-4219.

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Cops and Courts Reporter

Donovan Brink is the cops and courts reporter for The News-Review.

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