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NJIT Upends Utah Valley for GWC Women's Tournament Championship


2013 GWC Tournament Champion NJIT

2013 GWC Tournament Champion NJIT

March 16, 2013

CHICAGO - NJIT's Rayven Johnson posted a double-double of 20 points and 18 rebounds to help the Highlanders upend GWC Champion Utah Valley, 52-42, to win the Great West Conference Tournament Championship at Chicago, Ill.

Johnson's performance propelled her to Tournament Most Valuable Player honors. Also in double figures for the Highlanders was Sarah Olson, who joined Johnson on the All-Tournament Team, with 12 points. Uju Nwankwo, the GWC Co-Defensive Player of the Year, pulled down 11 rebounds in the game, but probably her best contribution to the Highlanders' win was limiting two-time GWC Player of the Year Sammie Jensen to six points on the afternoon.

Despite Jensen's low point total, the GWC's leading rebounder did pull down 12 boards in the loss and was named to the All-Tournament Team after posting 26 points and 14 rebounds in the Wolverine's semifinal victory over Houston Baptist. UVU's Taylor Huber led the Wolverines offensively with 15 points off the bench, while Kaycee Mansfield added 10 points and seven rebounds. Mansfield was also named All-Tournament.

NJIT, the GWC runner-up and tournament's No. 2 seed, held top-seed Utah Valley to only 20 percent from the field (10-50) on the afternoon, and the Wolverines shot 24 percent (5-21) from long range and 68 percent (17-25) from the free-throw line. The Highlanders shot 35 percent (21-60), including 25 percent (4-16) from beyond the arc, and 55 percent (6-11) from the foul line.

UVU never led in the contest and NJIT held a 22-17 advantage at the half. The Highlanders had the rebounding edge, 47-41, and forced UVU into 16 turnovers while committing 13 miscues.

2013 GWC Women's Basketball All-Tournament Team

Sammie Jensen, Utah Valley

 Rayven Johnson, NJIT (Most Valuable Player)

 Kaycee Mansfield, Utah Valley

 Sarah Olson, NJIT

Shanice Steenholdt, Houston Baptist