Thursday night was certainly an exciting one around the WAC, with a quality New Mexico State over Davidson win to start the morning. CBU and Seattle gave fans eventful late night wins in Riverside and Seattle, respectively.
California Baptist extended its winning streak to four in a down to the wire thriller against San Jose State. Seattle played host to Morgan State in an entertaining matchup that saw buckets fall left and right as the Redhawks nearly broke the 100-point seal. Three games and three wins for WAC members made for a great Thursday, indeed.
Here are some thoughts from Thursday night.
CBU takes San Jose St. to the Buzzer at home, secures the win
There were some very impressive performances from a couple of Lancers mentioned below. Rick Croy’s California Baptist squad pulled out a 67-66 win, thanks to a couple of clutch performances (detailed below). The Lancers went into the half up 34-31, though in the second-half they struggled from the floor. San Jose State outscored the Lancers 35-33. However, with just enough wiggle room and two clutch free throws with seconds left on the clock by WAC Freshman of the Week Taran Armstrong, it was just enough to secure the 1-point win at home.
As a whole, the Lancers went 48.1% from the field and 40% from deep on the night. However, despite Armstrong’s playmaking ability last night, looked off offensively. The Spartans made the trip south and as soon as the tip-off whistle blew, were off to the races. It was a tough one, or as CBU head coach Rick Croy described “An absolute battle,…To win the close ones, you have to have the guys on the floor execute, and those guys did.”
First year head coach Tim Miles had his own fabulous freshman in this one, as Alvaro Cardenas from Granada, Spain dropped 12 points, 7 assists and grabbed 4 rebounds in only his third collegiate game stateside. Ohio State transfer Ibrihima Diallo led the Spartans in scoring (16 points) and boards (10 rebounds) while junior guard Trey Smith chipped in 14 points of his own.
Things got sloppy at times for the Lancers but hard nosed defense kept things close, only committing eight fouls as a team and sending their opponents to the charity stripe four times may have been the difference maker in this one. But more likely it was the couple of fellows listed below.
Who to acknowledge first?
Though the Spartans definitely gave the Lancers a run for their money, CBU keeps this W at home. A lot of that goes to freshman guard Taren Armstrong who posted the first triple-double in CBU history (16 points, 12 assists & 10 rebounds). Reed Nottage was also money all night, with a whopping 28 points, while going 6-9 from deep. Without these two, the Lancers winning streak wouldn’t be alive and the announced crowd of 3,004 wouldn’t have been nearly as entertained without plays like the one below.
— California Baptist Men's Basketball ???? (@CBUmbb) November 19, 2021
Seattle staves off Morgan State at home
The Redhawks welcomed Morgan State to the Redhawk Center on Thursday night for a little cross country competition. This was definitely a tale of two halves, as Seattle hit the locker rooms up 55-23 at the break. This was large in part to Cam Tyson and his career night (detailed below).
The Bears came out with a newly lit fire and new mindset in the second half. So much so, that they themselves had their own dominant half, outscoring their hosts 57-38. This made things a little more interesting in the closing minutes, but starting off strong pays off. Seattle kept the W on the west coast, with their 93-80 win over Morgan State. Things were close at times, but each team just looked way better then their opponent in separate halves. Along with tough perimeter play from guards on both sides, there were 15 total steals and 32 turnovers forced in this one. The Bears had four players log double-digits in this one, and were led by senior guard Isaiah Burke with 19 points, 1 rebound and 4 assists while going 5-8 from 3-point range.
Seattle had four players of their own score 10+ points. They were led by sophomore guards Darrion Trammell (16 points, 6 assists & 4 steals) and Cameron Tyson. The Houston transfer scored more points on his own than the entire Morgan State team in the first half.
A career shooting night from Cam Tyson enough to keep the Redhawks comfortable
The native son and Houston transfer Cam Tyson could literally not miss on Thursday night. Well, until he actually did miss one. But, that came at the 7:00 minute mark after knocking down his first nine shots, including six 3-pointers of the game. Tyson’s first half stat line is wild. 26 points, 4 rebounds & 1 assist. But like all hot streaks, eventually they come to an end. The 6-2 shooting guard wouldn’t make another shot for the rest of the night. But, his first 20-minute performance appeared to be just enough for a Redhawk home win on Thursday night. Given a Morgan State resurgence in the second-half, Tyson’s hot-hand was surely the difference maker between a down to the wire contest and a comfortable double-digit win.
“That was a special performance in the first half,” said Interim Head Coach Chris Vector. “When we recruited Cam and he decided Seattle was where he wanted to play, we knew that he had this in him. He’s a weapon on offense. He doesn’t need much time or space, and he can really get it going.”
Just a little Cameron Tyson halftime highlight reel ? pic.twitter.com/q4ZXpDxkEA
— Seattle U Men's Basketball (@seattleumbb) November 19, 2021