On Tuesday morning, it was made clear to me that a road win is better than a neutral site win. This is especially true when a WAC school gets a win over a Power 6 opponent.
And for those who think it is Power 5 in college hoops, let me explain. The term Power 5 changes to Power 6 in college hoops due to the fact that Big East has basketball. Thus, there are six ‘power’ conference in hoops. The ACC, SEC, Big 12, Big Ten, PAC-12 and the Big East. I just wanted to clear that up so you understand why I put it as a P6 win.
Anyway, on a ‘quiet’ night from its leading scorer, Utah Valley got a big road win. A California Baptist guard who suffered a torn ACL two years ago just hit the 1,000-point mark of his career. Sam Houston looked horrible on Tuesday night. And Tarleton got its first 20-point win over a Division I opponent on Tuesday.
Utah Valley Gets WAC’s Second P6 Win
It was a ‘quiet’ night for WAC Player of the Year Fardaws Aimaq according to the announcers on Tuesday night. By quiet, they mean he had 15 points and 15 rebounds. We are sorry that isn’t the 20-point, 13-rebound double double Aimaq is averaging in 2021-22. But, nonetheless, it was good enough to help the Wolverines to an impressive 68-52 road win at Washington on Tuesday night.
Le’Tre Darthard had another big night for the Wolverines with 16 points. And what’s more impressive about Aimaq’s line is he missed the majority of the first half with foul trouble. Something even more impressive than that is Utah Valley won by double digits despite turning the ball over 20 times. Yes, Utah Valley committed 20 turnovers in the win.
So, in its non-conference slate, Utah Valley has the only win over a top-25 opponent in the WAC. And the Wolverines are one of two teams with a win over a Power 6 opponent. Not too bad considering the Wolverines are missing two of their leading scorers in Trey Woodbury and Justin Harmon.
The 9-3 start is the best start of the Division I era for the Wolverines. Utah Valley opens WAC play on Dec. 30 by hosting Abilene Christian.
Rowell Joins the 1,000-point Club
Two years ago California Baptist guard Ty Rowell suffered a season-ending torn ACL. And as part of his rehab, Rowell had to do it on his own in his parents basement in Canada due to COVID restrictions in place. Now, Rowell is a member of the 1,000-point club at CBU.
Call Him, 𝐌𝐫. 𝟏𝐊!!!
— California Baptist Men's Basketball (@CBUmbb) December 22, 2021
Rowell had a season-high 24 points on Tuesday night in CBU’s win over SE Missouri State. The Lancers are now 9-3 overall and a perfect 9-0 at the CBU Events Center.
“Reflecting on my career, I feel like I have just had a great opportunity here,” said Rowell during the postgame radio interview Tuesday night. “Coaches giving me such a great opportunity to be on a very competitive team every year I’ve played here and that’s the main thing. Scoring a thousand is something that is really awesome to add on to that, in your career. I’m happy it’s been able to all happen at Cal Baptist.”
“Ty was tremendous,” said CBU head coach Rick Croy. “I’ve said this many times, but I don’t think I can say it enough. He’s one of the best competitors I’ve ever coached. He’s such a locked in competitor, teammate, leader. You just know he’s going to be ready for whatever his team needs him to do.”
What is Wrong with Sam Houston?
As I watched the deficit grow on Tuesday night against Bradley, I asked myself this same question. The Bearkats won the Southland Conference regular season crown last season. Sam Houston had a 20-point scorer in Zach Nuttall. And despite Nuttall transferring, brought in Texas A&M transfer Savion Flagg to fill the shoes. And Flagg has done that. The bigger question is: who else is going to step up consistently for the Bearkats? Demarkus Lampley has had moments where he looked really good. But, in other games, Lampley is nowhere to be found. Javion May, same thing.
Head coach Jason Hooten has a difficult task on his hands. Sam Houston has been competitive at times throughout the non-conference slate. But, they have had to play from behind in most contests. And on Tuesday night, the Bearkats didn’t even break the 60-point mark in an 87-58 loss to Bradley in El Paso. Sam Houston is 4-8 on the season and just one of those wins is against a Division I opponent.
Think about that for a second. Chicago State has more Division I wins than the Bearkats. Yes, you read that correctly. Sam Houston has one more chance for a Division I win when the Bearkats take on NC Central in El Paso on Wednesday afternoon. Sam Houston opens WAC play by hosting Lamar on Dec. 30.
Tarleton Dominates Air Force in Non-Conference Finale
Tarleton played the most difficult non-conference schedule to start the 2021-22 season. After trips to Gonzaga, Wichita State, Kansas, Michigan, and Stanford among others, the scheduled slowed down a bit. The Texans fell flat at home against Charleston Southern. But, Tarleton has responded by winning four of its final non-conference games. And on Tuesday night, the Texans got an impressive win over visiting Air Force.
In the last four days, Tarleton State got its second-best ever KenPom win (USA, #174) and biggest margin of victory over a D1 school (+22 against Air Force). Nice way to head into league play for a team that's had a nationally captivating non-con. #wachoops #TexanNation
— Greg Mitchell (@gregpmitchell) December 22, 2021
The 22-point win is the largest margin of victory over a Division I opponent for the Texans. And it was a balanced effort, too. Tahj Small had a team-high 14 points and the Texans had three others in double figures, as well. It is a good time to get hot for the Texans who open WAC play at Dixie State on Dec. 30.