Fardaws Aimaq (11) and Jamison Overton (22) box out Seattle U defender Daron Henson on Friday night in an epic thriller at the Redhawk Center. Courtesy Sarah Finney/Seattle U Athletics.

Rude Welcome, OT Thriller Highlight Friday Night of WAC Hoops

Friday night’s in the 2020-21 season are one of the best night’s of the week. It is the first night of back-to-back night’s of WAC Hoops. Last Friday, Utah Valley won in dominant fashion while Grand Canyon had to escape an upset. 

This week, UTRGV won in blowout fashion, California Baptist rebounded with an impressive win and Utah Valley won in an overtime thriller. These games just make fans anxious for Friday night. 

Here are some takeaways from another exciting Friday night around the WAC.

UTRGV Gives Dixie State a Rude Welcome to the WAC

Before anyone blinked an eye, UTRGV led 26-9. At halftime, the Vaqueros led by 17 and opened the second half on a 9-0 run to push the lead to 26. 

Dixie State never had a chance in its WAC opener. Sean Rhea had a team-high 16 points in just 18 minutes. Uche Dibiamaka had 15 points and senior point guard Javon Levi had 12 points and eight assists as UTRGV blew out Dixie State 82-49 in the WAC opener for both teams. 

How dominant was the win for UTRGV? The Vaqueros forced 29 turnovers, had 17 steals and eight blocked shots. Yes, you read that right. 29 Dixie State turnovers led to 30 UTRGV points. UTRGV had 46 rebounds. Dixie State had 36. 

And UTRGV led for all but 2:16. Andre Mulibea hit a 3-pointer at the 17:44 mark of the first half to give Dixie State a 5-4 lead. Unfortunately, that was the last time the Trailblazers were even in the game on Friday night. 

UTRGV went on a 15-0 run after Mulibea’s shot and never looked back.

The Vaqueros are 7-3 overall and 1-0 in WAC play. Dixie State has now lost three straight and is 4-4 overall and 0-1 in WAC play. 

Same two teams take the floor again on Friday with tip set for 6 p.m. CT and can be seen on the WAC Digital Network. 

Javon Levi returned to the court Friday night and helped UTRGV dominate Dixie State in the conference opener for both teams. Courtesy Kristella Cruz/UTRGV Athletics

Gak, California Baptist Rebound with Impressive Win over Tarleton State

California Baptist big man Gojok Gak had a monster night with 18 points and 17 rebounds to lead the Lancers to an impressive 83-74 win over Tarleton State on Friday night at the CBU Events Center. 

CBU shot 46 percent from the floor and hit 12 3-pointers in their first conference win of the 2020-21 season. Tre Armstrong also had 18 points in the win and hit four 3-pointers. 

Shakur Daniel and Tarleton State hung around and never let CBU pull away. But, the Lancers were just to much in dropping the Texans to 0-3 in that first year in the WAC. 

There were 12 lead changes and six ties at the CBU Events Center Friday night. A 12-0 CBU run early in the second half was the difference. Ty Rowell capped the run with a 3-pointer and the Lancers never looked back. 

Gorjok Gak had a monster game Friday night with 18 points and 17 rebounds to help CBU pick up its first conference win of 2020-21. Courtesy CBU Athletics.

Overtime Thrillers Are Always Fun

By now, everyone knows about the shot that Utah Valley’s Trey Woodbury hit to give the Wolverines an epic 93-92 win over Seattle on Friday night.

If you don’t, here is the tweet to show you what happened.

What you may not know is this was just the icing on the cake of an epic overtime thriller in the Emerald City. Friday night was the WAC opener for Seattle. For Utah Valley, it was the first time the Wolverines won in Seattle in who knows how long. 

Fireworks were on display as Darrion Trammell had 19 first-half points and actually had more offensive rebounds than the leading rebounder in the nation. Multiple technicals were called. 82 fouls shots were attempted. 58 fouls were called. 

Utah Valley shot nearly 53 percent and only won by a point. Five players had 20-plus points. Four players fouled out. It was a freshman who hasn’t seen a ton of time that stepped up to the free throw line and gave Seattle a 91-90 lead with 24 seconds to play.

And it was Trey Woodbury, who had multiple turnovers and miss free throws down the stretch in both regulation and overtime, that put the icing on the cake on Friday night. 

And these same two teams take the floor again on Saturday night at the Redhawk Center. Tip is at 6 pm PT and is on ESPN+.


About the author

Kyle McDonald

Love everything about WAC Hoops so decided I wanted to write more about it and cover this amazing conference that just keeps getting better. Follow us on Twitter @wachoopsdigest for information, game analysis and much more.

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