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UVU basketball: women face UMKC in WAC Tourney quarterfinal

The Utah Valley University women's basketball team opens the 2016 WAC Tournament on Wednesday at 2 p.m. PT, against Missouri-Kansas City. The Wolverines are the No. 4 seed facing the fifth-seeded Kangaroos in the opening game of the tournament at the Orleans Arena.

Utah Valley (15-14, 8-6 WAC) defeated the Roos (10-17, 5-9 WAC) both at home (79-71) in January and on the road (58-44) in February. The pair of wins gave Utah Valley a 4-2 edge in the overall series. This marks the first postseason matchup between the two teams, and the highest seed the Wolverines have earned in the postseason WAC tournament.

"We are excited to be here in this tournament, and our season has prepared us well for this week," head coach Cathy Nixon said. "It's a fresh season here. Everyone is starting at zero, and we all have the same chance to move forward. We really respect UMKC. They can definitely shoot the ball and we know we need to play well. We've been talking about this game since last year's tournament, and every basketball team in the country wants to go the NCAA tournament, and that's our goal, and this is the gate you need to go through to achieve those goals. This is the first step."

On Monday, the league announced its All-WAC teams with two Utah Valley players represented. Sam Loggins was named first team All-WAC, while Mariah Seals was named second team All-WAC and to the All-Defensive team.

Seals leads the Wolverines in scoring with 11.6 points per contest in the overall season, while Loggins leads UVU in scoring in WAC play, pulling 12.4 points per game. Loggins also leads the conference in field goal percentage (.498) and is second in the conference in blocks with 47 blocks in 29 games.

The Roos are led by Aries Washington with 11.3 points per contest in the overall season, while Samantha Waldron paces UMKC with 12.3 points per game in conference play. UMKC has won just one of its last four contests, most recently defeating Chicago State, 67-50, in its regular season finale.

This season's tournament will be Utah Valley's third as members of the WAC. Entering as the No. 5 seed last season, the Wolverines nearly knocked off No. 4 Seattle U, dropping a heartbreaking 64-62 contest.

Wednesday's winner advances to Friday's semifinal contest against regular season champion New Mexico State. That game tips at noon PT, in the Orleans Arena.