WAC Tournament: WBB faces No. 2 Bakersfield in First Round

WOLVERINEGREENDOTCOM Freshman guard and WAC All-Newcomer Team performer Rhaiah Spooner-Knight
Freshman guard and WAC All-Newcomer Team performer Rhaiah Spooner-Knight

March 11, 2014

Tournament Central | Live Video | Live Audio

LAS VEGAS -- With March now in full swing, the Utah Valley University women's basketball team makes its inaugural trip to the Western Athletic Conference Tournament where it will open play against Bakersfield on Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. MT. All games at the tournament will be played at the Orleans Arena.

Utah Valley (7-22, 4-12 WAC) takes the seventh seed into the tournament and will face a Bakersfield (18-10, 12-4) squad that earned the two-seed. The Wolverines and Roadrunners bookended the conference season, facing off in their respective WAC openers and again in the finale. CSUB won both meetings, most recently earning a 66-51 home victory over UVU on Saturday.

The Last Meeting
Utah Valley51
March 8, 2014
Bakersfield, California
`Runners find groove in second half, top Utah Valley
A quick 8-0 run in the second half gave Bakersfield the breathing room it needed to earn a 66-51 WAC victory Saturday afternoon over Utah Valley University in the regular season finale for both teams.

Sophomore center Sam Loggins scored 13 points against the `Runners while guard Katie Kuklok added 12 on 4-of-4 shooting from beyond the arc.

Kuklok, who leads the Wolverines into the tournament at 16.3 points per game, was named to the WAC's All-Newcomer Team on Monday. She was joined on the list by true freshman Rhaiah Spooner-Knight who closed out her rookie campaign at 11.4 ppg and a team-leading 5.8 rebounds per game.

Though making its first appearance at the WAC Tournament, Utah Valley is 6-3 all-time in postseason conference tournament. The Wolverines competed for four seasons in the Great West Conference Tournament, capturing the title in 2010 and appearing in the final in both 2012 and 2013. In four tries, UVU is 4-0 in conference tournament opening rounds.

Bakersfield, on the other hand, is making its first appearance in a conference postseasons tournament since it transitioned to Division I in 2005. The `Runners are led by first team all-conference selection Tyonna Outland and her 20.8 ppg. She finished second in the WAC rankings in scoring, trailing only second team All-WAC pick Eilise O'Connor (21.4 ppg) of Kansas City. The Wolverines limited Outland to 12 points last Saturday, but the junior guard hung 25 on UVU in the season's first meeting way back on Jan. 4.



Outland was also named to the WAC's All-Defensive Team.

Ranking second in scoring for the `Runners is senior guard Melissa Sweat. At 13.9 ppg, the senior guard earned a selection to the All-WAC second team.

The winner of Wednesday's quarterfinal advances to the WAC Tournament semifinal scheduled for Friday at 3:30 p.m. MT and will face either No. 3 Seattle U or No. 6 Kansas City.