UVU Hosts North Dakota on Senior Day Saturday

WOLVERINEGREENDOTCOM Senior Tasha Sanborn
WOLVERINEGREENDOTCOM
Senior Tasha Sanborn
WOLVERINEGREENDOTCOM

March 1, 2012

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OREM, Utah -- The Utah Valley University women's basketball team will play its regular season and Great West Conference season finale against the University of North Dakota Saturday at 3 p.m. in the UCCU Center. It will be the final home game for a distinguished class of three seniors: guards Abbie Beutler and Jenna Johnson and center Tasha Sanborn as well as redshirt junior Erika Newbold.

Live stats and video will be available by visiting WolverineGreen.com.

UVU (14-13, 6-3 GWC) is coming off a stretch during which it played three games over a five-day period. Last week, the Wolverines split its final road trip of the season, defeating Houston Baptist 62-41 and falling narrowly at Texas-Pan American in overtime, 71-70.

Then, because of a postponement earlier in the season, UVU met HBU again--this time in Orem--on Tuesday afternoon. The Wolverines picked up where they left off just five days ago in Houston, cruising to a 71-36 victory over the Huskies. Freshman Taylor Huber led UVU in scoring with 16 points behind four 3-pointers and Sammie Jensen recorded her 15th double-double on the season, scoring 10 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. All 14 players on the Wolverine roster scored in the contest.

With the win on Tuesday, UVU secured second place in the GWC and wrapped up a first-round bye for next week's GWC Men's and Women's Basketball Championships that will be held March 8-10 in Chicago, Ill.

Jensen has been UVU's most consistent offensive force as her double-double average of 13.9 points per game and 10.4 rebounds per game leads the team in both categories. Jensen is ranked 17th in the country in rebounds per game, and her 15 double-doubles on the season place her tied for sixth. The junior forward needs just one more double-double to tie the school record for double-doubles in a season previously set by three-time All-American Robyn Fairbanks.

Senior Johnson, who enters Saturday's contest just 12 points shy of 1,000 career points, is second on the team in scoring at 8.0 ppg while Whitney Jenkins, who averages 6.7 ppg, has turned it up in conference play behind 9.1 points per GWC contest. Erika Newbold ranks second in rebounding at 5.4 rpg.

About North Dakota
North Dakota (18-10, 8-1 GWC) clinched the GWC Regular Season crown last weekend when it went on the road and swept UTPA and HBU. The Fighting Sioux got all they could handle from the Broncs, eking out a 60-58 win in Edinburg, Texas. But they would respond with a big 57-36 victory at HBU two days later to secure the GWC title.

The Sioux got great production from guard Nicole Smart over the weekend, as the senior scored 19 and 14 points respectively at UTPA and HBU. Her 16.5 ppg average over the weekend earned her GWC Player of the Week honors.

Sophomore forward Madi Buck, who missed the first meeting with Utah Valley due to injury, is UND's leading scorer and rebounder at 10.4 ppg and 7.5 rpg. Second in both categories is sophomore center and Preseason GWC Player of the Year Alyssa Wall with 10.1 ppg and 6.2 rpg. Next is Smart at 9.0 ppg.

UVU is UND's only loss in the conference season as the Wolverines pulled out a 58-54 victory over the Fighting Sioux in Grand Forks, N.D., on Jan. 21. In that game, UVU trailed 51-41 with 12:45 to play before going on a 16-6 run to take the lead at the 5:45 mark. The Wolverines would hold on at the free throw line to secure a conference-opening win.

UND has not lost since the last meeting with UVU, reeling off nine consecutive wins over the last month. The Sioux lead the all-time series 4-2.