The Grand Canyon women's basketball team opens up its 2018-19 conference campaign at Utah Valley on Thursday night. The Lopes and the Wolverines met three times last season, including GCU's WAC Basketball Tournament-opening victory over Utah Valley.
Senior center ShaRon Miller
led the Lopes through a 2-8 nonconference showing with 10.5 points per game and 5.8 rebounds per game. Fellow senior AJ Cephas
is averaging 9.5 points and a team-best 6.2 rebounds, while freshman point guard Laura Piera
(9.2 ppg, 5.3 apg) leads GCU in assists. The Lopes have not played a game since Dec. 20.
Scouting Utah Valley
Utah Valley finished nonconference play with a 6-7 record, as the Wolverines beat UC Santa Barbara, La Verne, Ottawa, Arizona Christian, Weber State and UC Riverside. Most recently, the Wolverines fell 56-55 on the road at Cal State Fullerton. They have gone 6-2 at home.
Utah Valley is led in scoring by Jordan Holland (12.9 ppg) and Eve Braslis (10.3 ppg). Braslis leads the Wolverines with 6.8 rebounds per game, while Holland is second with 5.7. Maria Carvalho tops the roster with 4.7 assists per game, which ranks third in the WAC.
Last season, the Lopes and the Wolverines split the pair of conference matchups, with the Lopes winning by 20 points in Phoenix and Utah Valley winning by 20 in Orem, Utah. Utah Valley finished 11-19 and went 5-9 in conference play. The Wolverines fell to GCU in the first round of the WAC tournament, 72-56. GCU has won seven of the teams' past eight meetings.