WACky Wednesday
Sam Houston got an overtime win over rival SFA on Wednesday night in Nacogdoches. Courtesy Sam Houston Athletics.

Utah Tech, GCU Pick Up Wins on WACky Wednesday

If you have followed men’s basketball in the Western Athletic Conference, you know how WACky this league can get.

WACky Wednesday was no different.

GCU was coming off a bad home loss to Seattle U. CBU was coming off a bad road trip to East Texas. Utah Tech was coming home off a WACky heartbreaker of a loss at UT Arlington on Saturday. It was the final Battle of the Piney Woods as conference foes in Nacogdoches.

The only game that wasn’t WACky was in Orem as Utah Valley handled its business to win a share of the regular season crown.

Let’s get down to the WACky breakdown of another wild night around the league.

Sam Houston 64, Stephen F. Austin 59

Physicality, defense, intensity.

What more would you expect in the final meeting between these two rivals in the Battle of the Piney Woods as conference foes? Bragging rights weren’t the only thing on the line at The Sawmill on Wednesday night. Seeding implications and regular season title hopes were on the line as well.

Fans even got to see some free basketball as the 135th meeting between the rivals went to overtime.

In the overtime period, the Bearkats got the job done, outscoring SFA 10-5 to earn a win in the final meeting between the two schools as conference foes.

Two Bearkats fouled out – Cam Huefner and Qua Grant. 46 fouls were called. 53 free throws were attempted. Each team was banged up coming into the game and each team ended the game a little more banged up.

With the win, Sam Houston keeps pace with Utah Valley for the regular season crown and 1-seed. The Bearkats need a win in the regular season finale against ACU on Friday. Along with that, Sam Houston becomes big fans of their rivals, hoping SFA can knock off Utah Valley on Friday in Orem.

Utah Tech 93, Seattle U 56

The first WACky game of the night took place at Burns Arena in St. George. Sure, Utah Tech was a 1.5-point favorite coming into Friday. And sure, I said earlier this week that Utah Tech was going to play spoiler.

However, a 37-point win was not necessarily on the prediction of things that were going to happen. Utah Tech shot 67 percent from the field and 67 percent from 3-point range…in the first half. The game was basically over 10 minutes into the ball game. Isaiah Pope’s jumper gave Utah Tech a 32-16 lead with 9:57 to play. Game over.

Cam Gooden and Tanner Christensen went a combined 11-11 from the field in the win. What makes this result even more WACky is Seattle U was coming off a road win at GCU on Friday. Along with that, the Redhawks had a chance to lock in a top-4 seed.

Spoilers, indeed.

Grand Canyon 83, Southern Utah 78

Remember how we said Wednesday was WACky? Well, this result is another part of that narrative. GCU scored 13 points in the first half on Friday in a 65-54 home loss to Seattle U.

Not good for the Lopes as they headed North to Cedar City where Southern Utah has’t lost a WAC game in 2022-23.

Things didn’t look good early. Southern Utah lead 21-7 seven minutes into Wednesday’s contest. It was almost like deja vu for the Lopes.

However, Ray Harrison and the Lopes responded, outscoring Southern Utah 28-14 to go into the locker room all tied up at 35.

In the second half, GCU took control, pushing its lead to 12 with just over four minutes to play. The Lopes eventually hit free throws down the stretch to seal the impressive road win. Ray Harrison had a game-high 29 points, and probably solidified WAC Player of the Year honors. Coaches will determine that this weekend.

The big thing is with Seattle’s loss and with the road win, GCU put itself in a spot where it is still in the running for a top-4 seed.

California Baptist 88, UTRGV 70

Another WACky result on WAC Wednesday. The Lancers looked dead to the world in their trip to Sam Houston and SFA. CBU didn’t score 60-plus points in either contest.

Yet, here we are. The Lancers scored 50 first-half points on Wednesday night at CBU Events Center. That was just four fewer points than they scored in a loss at Sam Houston.

CBU shot 44 percent from the field, hit 11 3-pointers and were a casual 81 percent from the free throw line. Taran Armstrong had his best game of WAC play with 20 points, seven assists and five rebounds. Blondeau Tchoukuiegno chipped in 19 points. Reed Nottage hit five 3-pointers and finished with 17 points. Riley Battin and Tre Armstrong each had 10 points in their final game at CBU Events Center.

The other impressive part is what CBU did defensively. Rick Croy’s group held Justin Johnson and Will Johnston to a combined 5-22 from the field and 15 points.

Just a WACky night in the wild, wild WAC.

Friday night’s regular season finale’s have a lot of implications. It is going to be another fun night of basketball.

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.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Subscribe to WAC Hoops Digest

Enter your email address to subscribe to WAC Hoops Digest so you never miss a beat.

Click Here to Get Your NBA Gear

Enjoy Las Vegas

Buy and Sell Your Tickets with StubHub

Get Your MLB Gear at the MLB Shop

Book with Expedia.com

Book a Stay with Hotels.com