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UVU men's basketball: Wolverines will face NJIT in Great West semifinals

By Clint Burgi

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, March 9 2012 10:57 a.m. MST

CHICAGO — Great West Conference champion and top seed Utah Valley University will face NJIT in the semifinals of the 2012 GWC Tournament on Friday at 11 a.m. on the campus of Chicago State University.

The Wolverines — the Great West's back-to-back regular season champs — are looking for their first tournament title in the conference's three-year existence. UVU went 9-1 in league play and is currently 20-11 overall.

No. 4 seed NJIT edged fifth-seeded Houston Baptist in Thursday's quarterfinal, 65-64, to advance to face UVU. The Wolverines won both meetings against the Highlanders, including a double-overtime thriller, 99-97, on Feb. 9 in Newark, N.J. NJIT is led by the GWC Player of the Year, Isaiah Wilkerson, who scored 20 in the win over Houston Baptist.

"We were very fortunate to pull out a victory in New Jersey," said UVU head coach Dick Hunsaker, who on Wednesday received his second straight GWC Coach of the Year award. "NJIT has a lot of scoring explosiveness, is arguably the most athletic team in the conference and they also have the conference player of the year. We have a lot of respect for them and are really going to have to be ready to go."

First-team all-conference selection Isiah Williams leads Utah Valley with 15.8 points per game, while Geddes Robinson, also a first team pick, hauls in a league-leading 10.2 rebounds.

Along with Williams and Robinson, also receiving all-conference honors were Ben Aird and Holton Hunsaker, who were both on the second team, as well as Keith Thompson, who was an honorable mention. Alfonzo Hubbard was selected as the league's sixth man of the year and made the all-newcomer team.

The other semifinal game pits No. 2 seed North Dakota and No. 3 seed Texas-Pan American at 1:30 p.m. The GWC championship game tips on Saturday at 3 p.m.

Clint Burgi is the assistant athletic director for sports information at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit http://www.WolverineGreen.com.

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