It was a bold prediction. Maybe too bold with the way the WAC has played thus far to open the 2019-20 season. But Mid-Major Madness writer Greg Mitchell made a prediction that came true on WAC Wednesday. Here is the tweet.
Undefeated night tonight. Mark it down. Take it to the bank. Write it in gold.
— Greg Mitchell (@gregpmitchell) December 18, 2019
Utah Valley, New Mexico State and California Baptist made Mitchell look like a genius on Wednesday night. The prediction was about 15 seconds from not being correct. But JJ Overton and Isaiah White made sure it did.
Overton Steal, White Layup Stuns Wyoming to Keep Prediction Alive
If you haven’t seen the video, go to Twitter to check it out. But, here is the rundown. Wyoming had possession with 32 seconds left to play and the game tied at 67. Cowboys guard Hunter Maldonaldo stood at the top of the key dribbling while running time off the clock. As Maldonaldo started to make a move, he made an errant pass that Utah Valley guard JJ Overton picked off. And as Overton started up the floor with 10 seconds left to play, he found Isaiah White streaking down the left side.
White did what he does best and went straight for the rim and finished the driving layup to stun Wyoming and help Utah Valley break a five-game losing streak with a 69-67 win at Arena-Auditorium. Here is video of that final sequence.
— WACHoopsDigest (@WACHoopsDigest) December 19, 2019
White finished with a team-high 19 points and nine rebounds and was 9-of-10 from the free throw line. Brandon Averette had 18 points and TJ Washington finished with 13 points for the Wolverines. And while Overton’s numbers aren’t huge, the San Diego native made perhaps the biggest play of the night with his third steal of the game right when Utah Valley needed it.
Here is something to think about…three of the five Utah Valley wins have come on the road. The other stat to think about…only two teams have scored 80-plus points on the Wolverines all season.
Aurrecoechea Has Big Night in Aggies Dominating Win
Some New Mexico State fans believe there is still plenty to work on and be concerned about. That is fine. But, for now, a win is a win and a win by double figures is even better. Ivan Aurrecoechea had 19 points and nine rebounds to help the Aggies blowout Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 65-40, on Wednesday night at the Pan Am Center. Jabari Rice chipped in 17 points and Trevelin Queen finished with 12 points. It is the kind of game needed before the Aggies travel to SEC country to take on Mississippi State in Jackson, Miss. on Sunday.
New Mexico State shot 45 percent from the field, hit eight 3-pointers and owned the paint. Perhaps the one area of concern is still the free throw shooting. The Aggies were just 13-21 at the charity stripe.
However, a game in which no starter had to play more than 29 minutes is always a win. Add to the fact that walk-on Bryce Rewalt scored the first points of his Aggie career and you have a really good night.
Acquaah, CBU Win Fourth Straight
Milan Acquaah filled the stat sheet, yet again, with 28 points, eight assists and six rebounds as CBU blew out Southern, 78-61 at the CBU Events Center on Wednesday. Ferron Flavors Jr. finished with 18 points while De’jon Davis had 11 points and eight rebounds. Zach Pirog also had a big night with eight points, 11 rebounds, two blocks and two steals.
It is the fourth straight win for the WAC’s hottest team. Some will argue that only one win in that span is against a semi-quality opponent. This is true. UC Riverside, Bethune-Cookman and Southern are all sub-200 KenPom teams. But CBU did exactly what it should have against those teams as they won by double digits in all three. And at the time of the win, CBU’s win at UC Irvine was the best win in the WAC.
Perhaps there is a plan with this for head coach Rick Croy. It is giving his team confidence as WAC play approaches. And with UTRGV and New Mexico State coming to Riverside to open WAC play, confidence will be needed.
So, Greg Mitchell’s prediction came true. The WAC had a really good night. It is one of the few nights so far that the WAC has won each game on the slate.