In the first week of WAC play, SFA was unable to take the court. The COVID chaos led to the first two WAC games being postponed. In the second week of WAC play, SFA the weekend off to a great start, leading start to finish in a 64-58 win at ACU. The road win is a Quad I win and snaps ACU’s 21-game winning streak at the Teague Center.
Gavin Kensmil had 13 points to lead the Jacks. Latrell Jossell and Nigel Hawkins were also in double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively. And despite turning it over 26 times, SFA was able to keep ACU’s offense at bay all night. SFA held ACU to just 2-17 from deep and had a 37-22 advantage on the glass in the win.
One week after picking up a Quad I road win, ACU had the favor returned by the Jacks.
SFA goes to Tarleton on Saturday while ACU hosts Sam Houston.
Tarleton 75, Sam Houston 64
Welcome back, Tahj Small. What a night for the Tarleton guard. Small missed last week’s road trip due to COVID. But, on Thursday night, Small was unstoppable. Small had 18 first half points and Tarleton led wire-to-wire in the 75-64 win over Sam Houston. Small finished with a game-high 28 points. Montre Gipson had 18 points for the Texans who shot 59 percent from the field in the win.
What is even more impressive is the defensive effort in the first half on WAC Player of the Year candidate Savion Flagg. The Texans held Flagg to 0-7 shooting and zero points in the first half. However, Flagg put on an offensive show in the second half with 18 points. But, it wasn’t enough to overcome the blazing start from Tarleton.
Sam Houston goes to ACU in a game where both teams will look to rebound from Thursday night. Tarleton hosts SFA in a big game for both squads at Wisdom Gym Saturday.
GCU 84, UTRGV 70
The Lopes haven’t played away from Phoenix very much in the 2021-22 season. Sure, the Lopes had two games in California which they won. But games against Arizona State in Tempe don’t count as a true road game. And the win at San Francisco was not a true road game since it was at Footprint Center right up the road in downtown Phoenix.
So, in one of its rare true road games, GCU showed it can play in a variety of ways. UTRGV did not have a big man available for Thursday night’s game and thus wanted to get out and run. But, GCU showed that it can get out and run and run it did. The Lopes led from wire-to-wire in an 84-70 win at the UTRGV Fieldhouse. GCU show nearly 58 percent from the field and hit 10 3-pointers in the win. Gabe McGlothan had a team-high 18 points. Holland Woods returned after missing last week’s win over Chicago State to finish with 17 points. And Sean Miller-Moore and Jovan Blacksher Jr. were also in double figures with 15 and 13 points, respectively.
Mike Adewunmi led UTRGV with a game-high 20 points. Justin Johnson and LaQuan Butler were the only other Vaqueros in double figures with 16 and 10 points, respectively. UTRGV was just 5-19 from deep but could not find the offensive rhythm after falling behind early.
GCU is scheduled to play Lamar on Saturday but that game is in question after the Cardinals decision on Thursday. UTRGV hosts New Mexico State on Saturday.
Seattle 93, Chicago State 77
Darrion Trammell is alive and well. The preseason WAC Player of the Year had a game-high 32 points as Seattle showed there was no rust coming off pause in a 93-77 win at Chicago State Thursday. Playing without Riley Grigsby, there was some question on how the Redhawks would come out against the Cougars. That question was answered quite early by Trammell. In a blazing first half, Trammell had 18 points on 6-10 shooting. And in the second half, the Redhawks were a bit more balanced with Trammell scoring 14 points, Emeka Udenyi scoring 10 of his 16 points and Cameron Tyson knocking down a pair of 3-pointers.
Seattle used the offensive glass to its advantage. The Redhawks had 14 offensive rebounds that led to 24 second-chance points in the contest. Midway through the second half, with Chicago State closing the gap, Brandton Chatfield had offensive rebounds on back-to-back possessions. The first led to a dunk and the second led to a 3-pointer. And Seattle hit free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
Chicago State has to adjust when a team goes on a run. Against GCU, Chicago State let a close game get away late in the first half. At New Mexico State, the Cougars were within striking distance at halftime. But an 11-0 run for the Aggies coming out of halftime turned that game into a blowout. And on Thursday night, the runs really hurt the Cougars who are now 0-3 in WAC play.