March 12, 2014
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- WAC regular season champion and top seed Utah Valley University opens the 2014 WAC Tournament with a quarterfinal contest against No. 8 seed Texas-Pan American on Thursday at noon PT from the Orleans Arena.
The Wolverines (19-10) finished the WAC regular season with a 13-3 record, winning the title in its first season as members of the league. Texas-Pan American (9-22) finished tied with both Seattle U and Bakersfield at 5-11 in WAC play, and is the 8th-seed due to tiebreakers.
"Both teams will be very excited for the opening game of the WAC Tournament," said UVU head coach Dick Hunsaker, who was named the Don Haskins Coach of the Year in a vote by WAC coaches.
Utah Valley won both games between the schools during the regular season, winning 67-53 at UTPA before a 45-42 win at the UCCU Center in a defensive battle. The winner of Thursday's game will face the winner of the Kansas City/Idaho quarterfinal. That game is scheduled for 6 p.m. PT on Friday.
The Wolverines are led by Holton Hunsaker's 13.6 points per game and Ben Aird's 8.2 rebounds. Aird, who averages 11.7 ppg, is 11 boards shy of becoming the first UVU players with 1,000 career rebounds. Both players were named to the all-WAC first team on Sunday, marking the second straight season the two were first team all-conference.
The Broncs are led by Javorn Farrell's 16.1 points and Shaquille Boga's 13.1 points per game. Farrell did not play in the game on March 1 at Utah Valley while Boga averaged 17.0 ppg in the two contests against the Wolverines.