UVU basketball: Wolverine women welcome Weber State Tuesday, SUU on Thursday

By James Warnick

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, Dec. 3 2012 5:55 p.m. MST

UVU senior Sammie Jensen reaches for one of her game-high 14 rebounds Monday night at the UCCU Center in Orem against Utah State. Jensen also recorded a career-high 31 points in the 78-62 Wolverine victory.

Shane Truskolaski, UVU Athletics

Enlarge photo»

OREM, Utah - The Utah Valley University women's basketball team looks to snap its current six-game losing streak at home this week. It will be a busy week for the Wolverines, as they host Weber State on Tuesday, Southern Utah on Thursday and play at Idaho State on Saturday.

Both home games against the in-state rivals tip at 7:05 p.m. at the UCCU Center, and Saturday's contest begins at 2:05 p.m. at ISU's Reed Gym. All three games this week for UVU will be against teams from the Big Sky Conference.

Live stats, audio and video can be found for all three games by visiting WolverineGreen.com.

UVU is 1-7 and has dropped its last six games. Five of the six have been on the road, however, including games at Tulsa and South Dakota last week.

The Wolverines got off to a slow start against the Golden Hurricane as TU jumped out to a quick 22-2 lead. UVU pulled to within eight late in the half but could never get over the hump as it fell 80-53 at the Reynolds Center in Tulsa, Okla., last Thursday.

UVU then stayed with its former Great West Conference foe South Dakota in the first half on Saturday but a 10-2 run by the Coyotes late in the half proved costly as the Wolverines lost 72-48 at the DakotaDome.

UVU senior Sammie Jensen led the Wolverines in both games with 14 points versus TU and 10 against USD. Jensen too led the way from the glass with six boards on Thursday and eight on Saturday. Despite not reaching double figures in rebounds in the two games, she still leads the nation in double-doubles with six and is ranked ninth nationally in rebounding with an average of 12.5 per game.

Jensen also leads the Wolverines in scoring with an average of 17.3 points per game. Fellow senior Kaycee Mansfield is second on the team in both scoring and rebounding with averages of 8.9 ppg and 5.8 rpg. Sophomore Taylor Huber is third in scoring as she averages 8.8 ppg off the bench.

About Weber State: Weber State is winless on the season as it will come to Orem with an 0-6 record. The Wildcats went just 2-27 last season, which included two losses to UVU, and 0-16 in the Big Sky. WSU was selected to finish 10th of 11 teams in the Big Sky Preseason Poll.

Regina Okoye leads the Wildcats in scoring this season with an average of 9.3 points per game. Desiree Ramos is next with an average of 8.2 ppg and Jalen Carpenter leads the way in rebounding with 8.2 rpg.

Tuesday's game will be the eighth all-time meeting between UVU and WSU. The Wolverines hold a slight 4-3 series advantage after beating Weber State twice last year, 63-59 in Orem on Dec. 8, 2011, and 72-65 in Ogden on Dec. 21, 2011.

About Southern Utah: The Thunderbirds are 2-4 so far this season and have dropped four of their last five games. Their lone win during the stretch was a 76-47 victory over New Orleans at the BTI Classic in Lubbock, Texas, on Nov. 24. SUU went 6-23 last year and 2-16 in its final season of play in the Summit League. This year, the Thunderbirds were picked to finish last in the Big Sky Preseason Poll.

Hailey Mandelko is SUU's leading scorer this season with an average of 12.5 points per game. Sofia Hepworth is next with by averaging 9.0 ppg and Carli Moreland leads the way in rebounding with 8.0 rpg.

Thursday will be UVU's 13th all-time meeting against SUU with the Thunderbirds leading the series 8-4. Southern Utah has won the last five contests, including two last year and a 60-59 win in Orem on Dec. 10, 2011.

About Idaho State: The Bengals are 3-3 this year but their three losses have come to No. 19 Nebraska, No. 25 Kansas and Kansas State. Idaho State made the NCAA Tournament last year after it won the Big Sky Conference. ISU was picked to repeat in the Big Sky Preseason Poll this year.

The Bengals have three players in double figures in scoring this season. Lindsey Reed leads the way with 12.7 ppg, while Cydney Horton and Ashleigh Vella average 12 and 10.3 respectively. Vella also leads ISU in rebounding with an average of 8.3 rpg.

Saturday will be the ninth all-time meeting between UVU and ISU. The series is currently all tied up at 4-4 and the Wolverines won the last contest as they defeated the Bengals 68-59 in Orem last year.

Up Next for the Wolverines: After three games this week, UVU will play just once next week. The Wolverines will travel to Flagstaff, Ariz., to face their fourth straight Big Sky Conference foe in Northern Arizona on Saturday, Dec. 15.

James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com.

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