In this rapid recap, we take a look back at a wild Friday night of WAC Hoops. Tarleton State had perhaps its best win as a Division I team. GCU showed some signs of rust but executed its defensive game plan to perfection. And Utah Valley had to claw its way to a win over the reigning champs.
It was also a night where the big men had big nights. Dixie State’s Hunter Schofield continued his hot streak with a 20-point, 11-rebound double-double in Dixie State’s loss. Tarleton State forward Konstantin Dotsenko had a game-high 23 points on 9-16 shooting. GCU big men Alessandro Lever and Asbjørn Midtgaard each had double-doubles. CBU big man Gorjok Gak had himself a double-double, as well.
And while UVU big man Fardaws Aimaq didn’t score a ton of points, the nation’s leading rebounder had another big night pulling down 17 boards. His teammate, Evan Cole, had his best game in quite some time with 15 points and some emphatic dunks.
Here is the rapid recap of Friday night’s games.
Tarleton State 77, Dixie State 59
A simple rapid recap is that Tarleton State dominated the Trailblazers from start to finish. The Texans used a rapid 16-0 run midway through the first half and never looked back. Montre Gipson’s layup with 11:55 to play in the second half made it a 20-point lead for the visitors. Lleyton Parker hit a 3-pointer with 7:49 to play to cut the deficit to 9. But that was as close at Dixie State got.
Montre Gipson answered with another layup to make it an 11-point lead. And Gipson and teammate Konstantin Dotsenko scored 12 of the Texans’ final 18 points to seal the big road win. Dotsenko had a game-high 23 points while Gipson had 16 points.
Dixie State’s Hunter Schofield had a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Dason Youngblood was the only other Trailblazer in double figures with 10 points. It was Tarleton State’s fourth straight win, second straight WAC win, second straight WAC road win and largest win over a DI program in history.
Grand Canyon 71, California Baptist 61
Another simple recap is that the GCU big men are really, really good. Alessandro Lever had a game-high 19 points to go along with 10 rebounds. And teammate Asbjørn Midtgaard had 14 points and 11 rebounds. Like I said, a simple recap. The GCU big men carried the Lopes to an impressive win coming off a 20-day break due to COVID issues. Midtgaard also had three blocks in the contest. And the GCU defense held CBU nearly 20 points under its points per game average. Mikey Dixon was the other Lope in double figures with 13.
Here is the irony of seeing the GCU big men each have a double-double. CBU actually outscored the Lopes in the paint, 36-28. CBU big man Gorjok Gak had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
The biggest difference in the game was at the free throw line. CBU was just 7-13 from the charity stripe while GCU was 18-29.
Utah Valley 69, New Mexico State 66
The rapid recap for this game was eerily similar to the 2020 game in Las Cruces. Utah Valley takes a late lead. New Mexico State goes to its best player in Jabari Rice who gets fouled while shooting a 3-pointer. And people are thinking the Aggies are going to win again. Unfortunately, Rice made just 1-3 free throws and Utah Valley held on for the 69-66 win. And for what it’s worth, the Friday night struggles continue for New Mexico State.
Jaden McClanahan gave Utah Valley a spark off the bench and Trey Woodbury hit a pair of 3-pointers late in the second half to spark the Wolverines. C.J. Roberts had perhaps his best game in an Aggie uniform and was on attack mode most of the night. Roberts had a team-high 13 points. Jabari Rice had 12 points while Donnie Tillman and Wilfried Likayi each had 10 points.
Jamison Overton had a game-high 18 points before leaving midway through the second half with an ankle injury. Overton is probably for Saturday night. Woodbury and Evan Cole each had 15 points. Woodbury scored 11 of his 15 points in the second half. And the nation’s leading rebounder Fardaqs Aimaq had another big night, pulling down 17 boards.
These rapid recaps are fun, especially with the back-to-back scenarios. Remember, same two teams again on Saturday night. Tarleton State at Dixie and Utah Valley at New Mexico State are both on the WAC Digital Network. CBU at Grand Canyon is on ESPN3.