CHICAGO – Rayven Johnson scored 20 points and pulled down 18 rebounds Saturday as NJIT beat Utah Valley 52-42 in the Great West Conference championship game.
Johnson was 9 of 18 from the floor for the second-seeded Highlanders (16-15). Sarah Olson added 12 points, and Uju Nwankwo scored just two points but had 11 rebounds.
The top-seeded Wolverines (15-15) got 15 points from Taylor Huber and 12 rebounds from Sammie Jensen. Utah Valley was just 10 of 50 from the floor and committed 16 turnovers.
NJIT never trailed and led 22-17 at halftime. Utah Valley pulled within 34-31 on Whitney Jenkins' jumper with 11:59 left but could get no closer.
Unlike other conferences, the Great West does not award an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. This year's Great West tournament was probably the last, as four of the conference's five schools are bolting for other conferences next season.