UVU Women Head to Chicago for 2012 GWC Tournament

WOLVERINEGREENDOTCOM Junior guard Cydne Mason.
Junior guard Cydne Mason.

March 7, 2012

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CHICAGO -- The second-seeded Utah Valley University women's basketball team will head to the 2012 Great West Conference Men's and Women's Basketball Tournament in Chicago, Ill., this weekend and will open play in Friday's semifinal against No. 3 NJIT at 4 p.m. MT.

The conference tournament will be held at the Jones Convocation Center on the campus of Chicago State University this year for the first time, as the Wolverines have hosted the event each of the last two seasons. A 2012 GWC Women's Basketball Champion will be crowed Saturday at 6:30 p.m. MT.

Live audio will be available by visiting WolverineGreen.com and live stats can also be accessed at GreatWestConference.org.

UVU (14-14, 6-4 GWC) will be looking for its second conference tournament championship in the last three years after it won the inaugural title in 2009-10. That year the Wolverines were the sixth-seed in the tournament but this season UVU has earned a first-round bye and the two-seed after going 6-4 in conference play. UVU is 4-1 all-time in the GWC Tournament after going 3-0 in 2009-10 and 1-1 a year ago.

The Wolverines secured the two-seed for the tournament with a 71-36 win over Houston Baptist last week but then fell in the regular season finale to top-seed North Dakota 66-53 on Senior Day in Orem last Saturday. In that game, Utah Valley senior guard Jenna Johnson became just the fourth Wolverine in school history at the Division I level to pass the 1,000 career point mark as she led the way with 15 points in the contest.

For the season, junior forward Sammie Jensen is leading UVU with a double-double average of 13.6 points and 10.3 rebounds. Her rebound average lead the conference while her points rank her second. Jensen also has 15 double-doubles for the year, which puts her just one-shy of tying former three-time All-American Robyn Fairbanks' single-season school record of 16.

Behind Jensen, Johnson is next on the team in scoring with an average of 8.2 points per contest. Sophomore guard Whitney Jenkins is third on the team with 6.5 points per game overall but she is averaging 8.5 ppg in conference-only contests.

About NJIT
The Highlanders (12-16, 6-4 GWC) enter the tournament with an identical 6-4 conference mark as the Wolverines but UVU held the tiebreaker to be awarded the two-seed for the tournament, while NJIT will enter as the three-seed. NJIT will open on Thursday against the last-seeded HBU Huskies and the winner will take on UVU on Friday.

Rayven Johnson leads the Highlanders in scoring and rebounding with 11.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. Denisa Domiterova is next on the squad with an average of 9.4 ppg.

On the season the Wolverines and Highlanders split their two meetings with UVU winning 61-54 in Newark and NJIT winning 48-46 in Orem.

In the all-time battle Utah Valley leads that department 9-5.