Utah Valley big man Fardaws Aimaq is the reigning WAC Player of the Year for a reason. Aimaq averaged 13.9 points and 15.0 rebounds in 2020-21 and led Utah Valley to a share of the WAC regular season crown. ‘Big Maple’, as he is referred to in Orem, was the first player in nearly 50 years to average 15.0 rebounds per game.
And in 2021-22, Aimaq has continued to put up big numbers. Coming into Wednesday night, Aimaq was averaging 19.0 points and 13.1 rebounds. Yes, the rebounding stat is down but the scoring production has increased. All this despite seeing double and triple teams night-in and night-out. And on Wednesday night at Wisdom Gym, Aimaq was a man among boys. At 6-11 and facing a team with very little size, Aimaq had his second 20-20 game of the season. Aimaq finished with 22 points and 20 rebounds to lead Utah Valley to the 69-56 road win over Tarleton.
Aimaq was an efficient 9-14 from the field and pulled down five offensive rebounds in the contest. Blaze Nield and Tim Fuller were also in double figures for Utah Valley with 12 and 10 points, respectively. Despite turning the ball over 21 times, Utah Valley found a way to win on the road.
With the win, Utah Valley improves to 17-8 overall and 8-5 in WAC play. Tarleton falls to 11-15 overall and 6-7 in WAC play. Next up for the Wolverines is a trip down I-15 to take on Dixie State on Saturday. Tarleton heads to the Windy City to take on Chicago State.
Kensmil, Jacks, Stay Hot
Stephen F. Austin has won five straight games. In all five games, the Jacks are averaging better than 80 points. And on Wednesday at Johnson Coliseum, despite a slow start, SFA hit the 80-point mark again. Gavin Kensmil continues to play well finishing with a game-high 26 points on 10-13 from the field in the Jacks 88-71 win over Chicago State.
SFA shot 60 percent from the field which was good enough for the win. Chicago State actually out-rebounded the Jacks, 32-31, and the Jacks shot just 58 percent from the free throw line in the win.
Calvin Solomon and Latrell Jossell were both in double figures with 12 and 10 points, respectively. Bryce Johnson led Chicago State with 17 points. The Cougars have now lost seven straight and head home to host Tarleton on Saturday.
During the 5-game win streak, Kensmil is averaging 19.8 points per game. The lone game Kensmil didn’t score in double figures was a 29-point win over Dixie State. SFA is now 17-8 overall and 9-4 in WAC play. The Jacks are still in contention for one of the top-4 seeds at the moment and in the top-2 seed conversation.
SFA heads to Lamar on Saturday before returning home to host rival Sam Houston next Thursday.