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UVU basketball: women to bring in the new year at Air Force

By James Warnick

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, Dec. 31 2012 2:55 p.m. MST

OREM, Utah — The Utah Valley University women's basketball team will bring in the new year at the Air Force Academy on Wednesday afternoon. Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m. at AFA's Clune Arena in Colorado Springs.

Live audio of the contest can be heard at WolverineGreen.com, while live stats and video can also be accessed by visiting GoAirForceFalcons.com.

Wednesday's game will be the third straight away from home for UVU and the second of the three in the state of Colorado after the Wolverines faced No. 25 Colorado in Boulder on Dec. 22. The Wolverines fell to the Buffaloes 81-45 and then dropped a 66-49 decision to in-state rival Southern Utah in Cedar City on Dec. 29.

The game against Air Force will also mark the Wolverines' final non-conference tuneup before beginning their final season of Great West Conference play Saturday at home against Texas-Pan American. UVU was picked to win the GWC this year after finishing in second place a year ago.

UVU is 4-11 overall this season and 2-2 in its last four games after it defeated Northern Arizona on the road Dec. 15 and Carroll College at home Dec. 19. Despite the loss to Southern Utah last Saturday, UVU finished with a 2-2 record against in-state foes this season. The Wolverines defeated Utah State and Weber State but fell to Southern Utah twice.

Senior forward Sammie Jensen led UVU against the Thunderbirds with a game-high 14 points and 14 rebounds for her 10th double-double of the season. She also recorded four assists, two blocks and two steals in the game.

Jensen leads the Wolverines with a double-double average of 16.9 ppg and 12.6 rpg. Jensen's 10 double-doubles rank her third in the nation in that category and her 12.6 boards per night are good enough for sixth. Sophomore Tina Doughty is next for UVU in scoring with an average of 7.9 points per game, while senior Kaycee Mansfield is third scoring and second in rebounding with averages of 7.8 and 6.1, respectively.

About Air Force: The Falcons are just 1-11 on the year and were picked to finish last in the Mountain West Conference. Air Force's lone win came over UVU's future WAC foe CSU Bakersfield on Dec. 13 as AFA was able to top the Roadrunners 82-78 in overtime. The Falcons will begin Mountain West Conference play in their next game Jan. 9 at Nevada.

Senior guard Alicia Leipprandt leads AFA in scoring with an average of 11.8 points per game. Senior forward Dymond James is second in scoring and rebounding with 8.7 ppg and 6.3 rpg. Fellow senior forward Katie Hilbig leads the Falcons in rebounding with 6.4 boards per night.

Wednesday's game will be the third all-time meeting between the Wolverines and Falcons with the series currently tied up at 1-1. The two haven't played since the 2007-08 season when UVU defeated AFA at Clune Arena, 78-68. Both teams have won the previous meetings on one another's home floor as Air Force defeated Utah Valley 97-70 on Nov. 26, 2005 in Orem.

Up Next for the Wolverines: The Wolverines will begin conference play at the UCCU Center against Texas-Pan American on Saturday at 3 p.m. UVU will play a Saturday-only conference schedule this season and just eight regular-season conference games in all.

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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