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Go Utes!
Utah Opens MWC Tournament vs. UNLV

Michelle Plouffe was named the MWC Freshman of the Year.

Michelle Plouffe was named the MWC Freshman of the Year.

March 7, 2011

Tuesday, March 8, 4:30 p.m. PT - Utah vs. UNLV (Thomas & Mack Center)
Radio: ESPN 700 (Play-by-Play Rick Bouillon)
Live stats available at UtahUtes.com

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Plouffe Named Freshman of the Year, Three Earn All-MWC Honors

SALT LAKE CITY - The Utah women's basketball team enters its final Mountain West Conference Tournament as the No. 5 seed, and will play a rematch of their final regular-season game in the first round against No. 8 seed UNLV. Tip is at 4:30 p.m. PT. The game will not be televised.

The Utes finished the regular season tied for fourth in the conference with a 7-9 record in MWC play (14-16 overall).

"We are really looking forward to the tournament," interim head coach Anthony Levrets said. "Our kids are excited to be here and compete in a great environment. March Madness is something every player and coach looks forward to. We plan on playing our best basketball of the season."

Utah is 18-8 all-time in the MWC Tournament. The Utes have been the five seed three times in the tournament - 2002, 2007 and 2011.

The Utes won tournament titles in 2000, 2006 and 2009. Utah has played in the championship game six times in the 11-year history of the tournament (2000, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010).

Michelle Plouffe was named 2010-11 Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year, as three Utes earned all-conference honors to start the week. Junior Janita Badon and sophomore Iwalani Rodrigues were also selected.

Plouffe, who was also a second-team all-conference selection, is Utah's second-straight Freshman of the Year pick. Taryn Wicijowski earned the award last season. Rodrigues was also named to the second team, while Badon was selected to the All-Defensive team in addition to earning honorable mention all-conference accolades.

UNLV was 4-12 in the MWC and 11-19 overall. The Rebels conference wins have come over Air Force, New Mexico, Colorado State and Utah.

Utah won the first meeting between the two teams in dominant fashion, 71-52, back on Feb. 1. However, the Utes ended the game just this past Saturday on a cold-shooting streak, allowing the Rebels to take a late lead for the 51-47 win.

Utah leads the all-time series against UNLV, 28-14.



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