It’s another Thursday night of WAC hoops and I apologize that this is a little late getting out. I started a new, full-time job on Wednesday. Add in that I have an hour commute both to and from work, and it leaves little time for much else. But here we are. There are four WAC games on tap for tonight and Tyler joins me with his predictions for each one. It is actually a big weekend for teams as Seattle and Grand Canyon look to make a case for the 2-seed. UTRGV looks to build on its three-game win streak and stay in the mix. CSU Bakersfield, Kansas City, and Utah Valley are looking to get back in the win column. It should be a fun and interesting weekend of basketball. But, first let’s look at both mine and Tyler’s breakdown and predictions for Thursday night.
Utah Valley at UTRGV
Kyle – It has been seven years since UTRGV beat Utah Valley in Texas. And the Wolverines have won 15 straight against the Vaqueros. That changes tonight. Javon Levi, Jordan Jackson and Lesley Varner II are playing really well right now. Plus, UTRGV is red hot, having won three straight including a road win at Kansas City last weekend. Plus, the midwest trip is not an easy one and the Wolverines could get caught looking ahead to Saturday night in Las Cruces. This might be a huge weekend in Edinburg for the Varqueros. Lesley Varner II continues to hit shot after shot and UTRGV wins, 78-70.
Tyler – In the first meeting, these 2 teams went down to the wire with Isaiah White hitting the game winning layup to push the Wolverines to a 72-70 win. UTRGV comes into this contest on a 3 game winning streak, thanks in part to elevated play from Lesley Varner II who has averaged 17ppg during that win streak. Isaiah White returning for the Wolverines is a big boost but UTRGV takes care of business at home. This will be a close contest, with the Vaqueros winning, 76-72.
Seattle U at New Mexico State
Kyle – Despite the fact that the Redhawks lead the WAC in points per game, Seattle just won’t win in Las Cruces. Since the new WAC was formed, New Mexico State has lost one conference game at home. ONE! And the Aggies continue that home court dominance Thursday night. With Seattle’s lack of size, Ivan Aurrecoechea and Johnny McCants should have a big night. And, for whatever reason, Chris Jans knows how to defend a team’s best player. So, Terrell Brown may get his points tonight but it won’t come easy. Aggies win, 81-70.
Tyler – When the Aggies and Redhawks met just under a month ago, it was Ivan Aurrecoechea who was the hero for NMSU, as he had a massive double-double for the Aggies. Seattle U’s Terrell Brown was terrific for the Redhawks as well. Seattle U had their chances to give themselves the lead late in the game, but couldn’t quite connect. If Seattle U’s Terrell Brown can continue to put up WAC POY numbers and get some help, this will be a close, hard fought game. When the final horn sounds though, the Aggies will make it 29 conference wins in a row tonight, with a score of 82-74.
Kansas City at Grand Canyon
Kyle – Consistency. That is what Grand Canyon is looking for and they get a big chance to do that this weekend.
The Lopes are coming off their best offensive game under Dan Majerle in a 103-98 win over California Baptist on Saturday. Carlos Johnson went 6-6 from the floor for a team-high 25 points. No other Lope had more than 10 shot attempts in the win. That shows you how good the Lopes offense was. While it may be a little more physical on Thursday night against Kansas City, GCU gets the job done and keeps things rolling offensively. Lopes win 83-72.
Tyler – Grand Canyon won the last contest over the ‘Roos in what was a nail-biter in Municipal Auditorium. Mikey Dixon was huge for the Lopes down the stretch as he scored seven of his 21 points in the final two minutes. Jordan Giles missed the shot that would’ve tied the game at the final buzzer. With the Havocs behind them, Carlos Johnson and co. get a big win at home, 75-67.
Chicago State at Cal State Bakersfield
Kyle – It’s just one of those years for Chicago State. Okay, let’s be honest it’s like the movie Groundhog’s Day where it is the same thing year in and year out. That’s just the way it is. And CSU Bakersfield takes it out on the Cougars tonight. Shawn Stith can dominate the paint and Taze Moore will have some highlight reel dunks tonight. Look for this one to be over early. Playing on that bright royal blue court at the Icardo Center is not good for the eyes. Roadrunners win 97-61.
Tyler – The Road Runners had no problems in Chicago, and it’ll be that way tonight as well in Bakersfield. CSU Bakersfield wins 81-54.
We know that California Baptist is playing tonight. The Lancers host non-Division I opponent Westcliff so the Lancers should win big. But, these predictions are predicated on conference games.