OREM, Utah — The Utah Valley University women's basketball team will close out its regular season this week by hosting CSU Bakersfield on Wednesday at and Houston Baptist on Saturday. After earning at least a share of the Great West Conference title with a victory last week, the Wolverines will have the opportunity to win their first GWC regular season title outright on Saturday.
Wednesday's game at 7 p.m. will be UVU's final non-conference game of the year and will also be the Pink Game where donations will go toward Cancer Research. Saturday's contest will then be Senior Day where six Wolverine seniors — Alle Cardwell, Sarah Clement, Cydne Gray, Sammie Jensen, Kaycee Mansfield and Tasha Sanborn — will be honored prior to the 3 p.m. tipoff. Both games will feature live video, audio and stats that can all be accessed through the UVU women's basketball schedule page. Saturday's game will also be the Great West Conference Showcase game on CollegeInsider.com.
The Wolverines are 12-14 overall and 6-1 in conference play after they defeated Chicago State, 63-55, last Saturday. Senior Sammie Jensen led the way in the game by notching her 18th double-double of the season with 18 points and 21 rebounds.
In all, four players finished in double figures for UVU in the game against the Cougars as sophomore Taylor Huber had 13 points off the bench, and senior Kaycee Mansfield and junior Whitney Jenkins chipped in 12 and 10, respectively. Senior Alle Cardwell also had a solid game where she added five points, four assists, three rebounds, a block and a steal.
UVU has been hot as of late as it has won five of its last six games and eight of its last 11. One of those losses, however, came at future Western Athletic Conference foe CSU Bakersfield on Jan. 19, while one of those victories came at Houston Baptist on Feb. 2.
Jensen leads Utah Valley and is ranked second and first, respectively, in the Great West with averages of 17.4 ppg and 13.9 rpg. Jensen's 13.9 rebounds per game average is also good enough to rank her second in the nation in that category. Sophomore Tina Doughty is next in the scoring column for UVU with a 10.4 ppg average.
About CSU Bakersfield: The Roadrunners, who are in their final season as a Division I Independent, are 11-16 overall and recently had a nine-game winning streak snapped by New Mexico State last Saturday. During the win streak, CSUB defeated Nevada, Texas-Pan American twice, HBU, UVU, Chicago State twice, Cal State Northridge and New Orleans. The `Runners are led on the year by Amber Williams and her 14.1 points per game average. Janae Coffee is next with an average of 13.4 ppg and also leads CSUB in rebounding (8.9 rpg).
The meeting will be the seventh all-time between UVU and CSUB, and the final one as non-conference opponents. The Roadrunners lead the all-time series 5-1, which includes a two-point win over the Wolverines in Bakersfield last month.
About Houston Baptist: The Huskies are 5-21 overall and in the basement of the Great West standings with an 0-5 conference mark. HBU split its last two games as it picked up a wild 78-76 overtime win over Texas State at home but then fell to UTPA by eight last Saturday.
Shanice Steenholdt leads the Huskies and the GWC in scoring with an average of 18.0 points per game. She also averages a double-double as she leads her team in rebounding with 10.1 boards per game. Taylor Jefferson is HBU's second best scorer with an average of 9.0 ppg.
Saturday will be the eighth all-time meeting between the Wolverines and Huskies, and UVU holds a perfect 7-0 advantage. The Wolverines previously defeated HBU, 75-71, in Houston on Feb. 2.
Up Next for the Wolverines: The Wolverines will be off until the GWC Tournament that will take place March 14-16 at Chicago State's Jones Convocation Center. Regardless of what seed UVU enters the tournament (1st or 2nd), it has earned a first-round bye and will enter the semis on March 15.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com.