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UVU basketball: Wolverines women head back east for GWC contest at NJIT

By James Warnick

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Jan. 24 2013 10:45 p.m. MST

OREM, Utah — The Utah Valley University women's basketball team will look to remain unbeaten in Great West Conference play when it heads east to play at NJIT in Newark, N.J., on Saturday afternoon.

The game will tip off at 12 p.m. MT at NJIT's Fleisher Athletic Center. Fans can listen to live audio of the game by visiting WolverineGreen.com and they can also find live video and live stats by going to NJITHighlanders.com.

The contest will also be the first Great West Conference Weekend Showcase on CollegeInsider.com. The UVU at NJIT women's game will be streamed live on CollegeInsider.com and will be followed by the UVU at Chicago State men's basketball game at 2:30 p.m. MT.

"Even though it's still early in the conference season, each game is important," UVU head coach Cathy Nixon said. "NJIT has played well this year and will present some challenges for us. We feel like if we can go there and compete it will help us achieve our goal of winning a conference championship at the end of the season."

The Wolverines (7-12, 2-0 GWC) are coming off of a two-point (67-65) loss at future Western Athletic Conference opponent CSU Bakersfield last Saturday. Prior to the setback, UVU had won three straight including its first two conference games at home.

Utah Valley got off to a sluggish start against the Roadrunners and found itself trailing by as many as 15 points in the first half. The Wolverines cut the deficit to nine at the break and even managed to take the lead late, as they led by four with six minuets to play, but couldn't hold on as the `Runners took the contest.

UVU senior forward Sammie Jensen had a chance to tie the game at the buzzer, as she fired a fade-away 17-foot jumper but the shot rimmed out. Jensen led the Wolverines with 19 points and 13 rebounds, while fellow senior forward Kaycee Mansfield added 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field. The double-double was Jensen's 14th of the season, a category that she currently ranks second in the nation in.

Jensen leads the Wolverines and the GWC in scoring and rebounding with averages of 17.6 ppg and 12.7 rpg. Her 12.7 boards per contest average also ranks her fifth in the country. UVU sophomore guard Tina Doughty is next in the scoring column for UVU with an average of 8.9 ppg and Mansfield follows with 8.2.

About NJIT: The Highlanders are 8-14 overall and 1-1 in conference play on the season. NJIT will enter play having dropped its last three games and six of its last seven. In its last two games, NJIT fell to Howard, 46-33, at home Thursday night and by one-point at Chicago State last Saturday. Despite the rough patch as of late, the Highlanders were picked to finish second in the GWC this year.

Senior guard Rayven Johnson was a first team All-GWC player last year and leads the Highlanders again this season with 15.2 points per game. Junior forward Uju Nwankwo leads the team in rebounding with 7.0 rpg and is second in scoring (7.2 ppg).

Saturday's game will mark the 16th all-time meeting between the conference foes and UVU currently holds a 10-5 series advantage. The Wolverines have also won three of the last four contests and are 4-2 all-time in Newark.

Up Next for the Wolverines: UVU will conclude its current three-game road trip at Houston Baptist on Saturday, Feb. 2. The Wolverines will then return home to host Walla Walla University on Monday, Feb. 4.

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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