The California Baptist Lancers continue to roll. GCU and UVU are keeping pace for the No. 2 seed. And players continue to have breakout games. It’s all part of the news and notes from around women’s hoops in the WAC.
A full week of Western Athletic Conference women’s basketball came to a close on Valentine’s Day as Tarleton State and Chicago State finished things up in the Windy City. We’ve got several awards to hand out as well as a look ahead coming up.
Players of the Week
This week saw quite a few impressive individual efforts this week that were Player of the Week worthy and we start with a duo of CBU Lancers.
Caitlyn Harper – CBU
Harper averaged 18.5 PPG on 15-26 FG’s (1-5 3’s), 9.5 RPG & 3.5 APG as the Lancers swept a road set at UTRGV to remain undefeated (18-0 O, 10-0 WAC) headed into next week’s key series with Grand Canyon University. On the year Harper leads the Lancers with 14.3 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 1.3 APG & 1.6 BPG in 23 minutes of work.
Sydney Palma – CBU
Palma was perfect from the floor on Saturday (9-9, including 4-4 from 3 point range) as CBU had to rally late and separate from UTRGV. On the week Palma averaged 15.5 PPG on 12-14 FG’s (6-7 3’s), 2 RPG, and 4.5 APG.
Maria Carvalho – Utah Valley
There’s a lone Wolverine on the list in Utah Valley’s Carvalho. On Friday, in game one of their series with Grand Canyon, the junior from Portugal recorded a career day with 23 points on 8-15 FG’s (2-6 3’s) with 6 rebounds and four assists. In Saturday’s getaway game she followed that up by dishing out a season high nine assists with 15 points on 5-11 FG’s (4-5 3’s) and six rebounds. On the year she’s averaging 13.5 PPG, 3.8 APG, and 4.8 RPG.
Tiarra Brown – GCU
In that series, moved up by three weeks, we also honor a lone Lope in Tiarra Brown who averaged 13.5 PPG & 3 RPG as Grand Canyon split with the Wolverines. On Saturday she posted 16 points on 7-15 FG’s (2-3 3’s) with 3 rebounds and 2 assists in a Lope victory (#14 under first year head coach Molly Miller). Friday she had 11 points on 5-12 FG’s (1-2 3’s), 3 rebounds and an assist in defeat.
Newcomer of the Week
Marissa Escamilla (Tarleton State)
Although the Texans have competed well in their inaugural WAC season they have not yet been able to break into the win column during conference play. That is, until a Valentine’s Day weekend trip to Chicago State, where Tarleton State swept their series against the Cougars in their penultimate conference campaign.
Escamilla led the way averaging 21 points per game on 13-29 FG’s (1-4 3’s) & 6 rebounds in those two victories. They’ll visit New Mexico State on Friday & Saturday in El Paso.
A Look Ahead
All series Friday & Saturday unless otherwise noted
Grand Canyon University at California Baptist University (2pm Pacific both days on the WAC Digital Network)
Simply put, all eyes in the Western Athletic Conference will be on this series. If the Lopes want any shot at a conference title in Molly Miller’s first year they have to leave Riverside with a sweep. Meanwhile, the Lancers look to hit 20 wins (12 in conference) with a sweep. We’ll go in depth on this matchup later in the week.
New Mexico State @ Utah Valley>> 5:30 p.m. MT on Friday, 3 p.m. MT on Saturday
Things are getting pretty crowded behind currently undefeated CBU as the race for a regular season runner-up begins to develop. After splits last week, the Wolverines and Aggies find themselves separated by one game in the loss column (UVU with 3 & NMSU with 4). The Aggies have Tarleton State & Chicago State in their last two series while Utah Valley has one series with UTRGV left after this week.
UTRGV @ Seattle>> 3 p.m. PST on both days on ESPN+
While UTRGV has competed valiantly in WAC play so far in 2020-21, they have yet to crack the win column. Seattle meanwhile looks to gain some momentum before finishing with the conference’s top two teams in GCU (away)
Idle is Tarleton State.
Non-Conference Scheduling Update
CBU’s women’s basketball team last week announced a non-conference home game on Monday, February 22 against the University of Oregon. That game has been cancelled. So, the Lancers will finish against GCU this week at home (senior day) and a trip to Seattle next week.
*CBU 18-0 O, 12-0 WAC
*GCU 14-4 O, 6-2 WAC
*UVU 7-4 O, 5-3 WAC
*Seattle 10-8 O, 5-3 WAC
*NMSU 3-7 O, 2-4 WAC
Tarleton State 3-7 O, 2-6 WAC
*UTRGV 2-8 O, 0-4 WAC
*Chicago State 0-8 O, 0-10 WAC
- Dixie State elected to not finish competition in 2020-21 due to concerns regarding COVID-19.
- Tarleton State & Dixie State are not eligible for WAC Tournament play until 2023.
- California Baptist University, as a result of prior Board action, is WAC Tournament eligible this year.