It was nice to have a full slate of games on the women’s side on Thursday evening. And as part of that slate, road teams won the majority of games. Four teams picked up road wins. And the night also included a key game between teams expected to be among the top seeds when we get to Las Vegas in March. Let’s recap a busy night of WAC women’s basketball and get set for Saturday.
Grand Canyon 74, Abilene Christian 69
This game had everything you could want in a matchup between two teams expected to get high seeds when we get to Las Vegas.
After Abilene Christian scored eight straight points to tie the game at 38, Grand Canyon established an 11-point lead at 57-46 before the Wildcats scored four straight to pull within seven after three quarters. ACU actually rallied and held a lead at 69-67 off two free throws from Jamie Bonnarens. Then, with nine seconds to go, Amara Graham hit a three pointer from Sky Harbor Airport’s parking lot to put the Lopes up for good on the road.
— GCU Women's Basketball (@GCU_WBB) January 14, 2022
Abilene Christian had two opportunities to win it. But Tatum Barber was called for an offensive foul and GCU recorded a steal with five seconds left.
Graham led GCU with 23 points on 7-12 from the field (5-7 3’s), three assists, and four rebounds. Dominique Phillips was Graham’s partner in crime, adding 19 points on 8-9 from the floor (3-4 3’s) with two assists and a rebound. Tiarra Brown was clutch with seven fourth quarter points as the stars went cold for much of the period. Jamie Bonnarens had 13 points on 4-14 FG’s (2-9 3’s) while Madi Miller and Bella Earle each had a dozen. But, it wasn’t quite enough for the Wildcats.
Grand Canyon shot 50.0 percent from the field and 48 percent from 3-point land (10-21) while forcing 21 Wildcat turnovers. By percentage, it’s the Lopes best 3-point shooting night of the year and the third time they’ve hit double figures from distance.
Tarleton State 58, New Mexico State 56
Tipping off at almost the same time, the Texans and Aggies had a spirited battle in Stephenville as the Texans prevailed at Wisdom Gym. It was the only game of the slate where the road team didn’t pick up a win.
Iyana Dorsey had 16 points and four steals in 29 minutes to lead Tarleton State. The Texans also got 11 points each from Malaya Kendrick and Seynabou Thiam. Sofia Inoussa had 12 points, two rebounds and two steals to lead the Aggies while Shania Harper added 10 points and seven rebounds in the loss.
CBU 88, Dixie State 60
Defending WAC regular season and tournament champion CBU starts their campaign in earnest with a trip to Utah and Dixie State, playing in their first WAC season. And CBU picked up a nice road win at the Burns Arena on Thursday.
Despite the lopsided final score, this was a close game for about two and a half quarters before the Lancers pulled away.
Ane Olaeta led the way with 22 points, five assists, four steals, and four rebounds. Caitlyn Harper added 17 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and two steals. Tiena Neale and Sydney Palma had season highs of 15 and 11 points, respectively. Reigning WAC Freshman of the Week Trinity San Antonio followed up her career afternoon against Chicago State with 12 points, four rebounds, and three steals.
For Dixie State…Shanaijah Davison had 20 points, seven rebounds, four steals, and two assists to lead the Trailblazers. Breaunna Gillen added 17 points, four rebounds, and four assists. Emily Issacson added 11 points and 13 rebounds.
UTRGV 58, Chicago State 47
At the Jones Convocation Center in Chicago, UTRGV raced to an early lead and kept the Cougars at bay en route to a road win in the Windy City. Kacee Kyle had 14 points while Taylor Muff and Sara Bershers each added 11 points in the win. UTRGV shot 55 percent from the field and hit six 3-pointers in the win.
Aalyiah Collins led the Cougars with 10 points. Chicago State shot 40 percent from the field and hit just three shots from beyond the arc.
Lamar 68, Sam Houston 55
After a loss at the buzzer in Phoenix last Saturday, the Cardinals responded with a road win on Thursday night.
Malay McQueen led the way with 17 points, six rebounds, three assists, and two steals for Lamar. Sabria Dean added 16 points, four rebounds, four steals, and three assists. And Akasha Davis contributed 14 points and four rebounds. Angel Hastings chipped in 11 points for the Cardinals, as well.
Madelyn Batista led Sam Houston State with 19 points, six rebounds, four steals, and two blocks. The Bearkats also got 14 points from Damaya Telemaque and 10 points and five assists from Faith Cook.