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WAC Women’s Basketball News and Notes – Week ending 1/16/21

We’re through week two of WAC play. And every team active except Chicago State has played a conference game in 2021. Here is a recap of the week that was and a look forward in the weekly women’s basketball notebook.

Player of the Week: Nicole Avila-Ambrosi (California Baptist University)

After earning Newcomer of the Week honors for their home opening series sweep of Utah Valley, the freshman stepped it up a notch this weekend in Texas. On Friday, with a game very much in doubt, she had eleven of her fourteen points in the fourth quarter as CBU recorded a ten point win against Tarleton State.

Then, on Saturday, Avila-Ambrosi outdid herself. She tied her career high of 18 points set a week ago on 7-9 FG shooting (4-6 3s) and added 5 rebounds. For the week Avila-Ambrosi averaged 16 PPG on 12-21 FG’s (8-14 3’s), 3 Rebounds and 1.5 Assists per contest in just under 26 minutes of action. 

“Nicole really played well in both games,” CBU head coach Jarrod Olson said. “She is a tough defender and has really done a good job of making simple plays on offense. She has worked so hard on her shooting this year. And it is great to see her have a weekend like this.”

Newcomer of the Week: Kayla Anderson (Utah Valley University)

Getting swept on opening weekend of WAC play was not what Utah Valley had in mind. The Wolverines and head coach Dan Nielson had to get a sweep of their own in response. That’s exactly what the Wolverines got in a pair of wins at UCCU Center this past weekend.

Anderson, a junior transfer from Midland College in Texas, contributed to the sweep with a solid Saturday. Anderson had 14 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds in game two earning 26 minutes of playing time. 

“We really challenged the girls after last night to come out strong again,” Nielson said. “I think it’s easy, playing the same team, to think we’ll just do it again. But, we know that team. Seattle’s well-coached. They’re a good team and we knew they’d be ready to go. So, I was really pleased with our start. Every time they made a run we responded and stayed together. However you can get wins in the league is great, so we’re on the right track.”

Kayla Anderson had her best game in a Utah Valley uniform to help the Wolverines sweep Seattle this past weekend. Courtesy Katy Herrin/UVU Athletics.

Lancers rising through the polls

Last week the California Baptist University women’s basketball team found themselves ranked in the collegeinsider.com mid-major poll at #16, a season high ranking. Future conference member Stephen F. Austin is currently at #12. 

Week 2 Statistical Analysis

With the first full weekend of WAC women’s hoops action completed we’ve got more data to look at regarding playing back to backs. 

In four Friday games thus far, the average margin of victory is just over 14 points per game. And in those contests teams are scoring an average of 73.75 points in wins and 59.5 in losses. 

Winners are shooting 40.3% from the floor (98/243) & 36.0% (41/86) on 3s. In losses teams are shooting 37.4% (78/235) & 23.8% (20/84) from three point land. 

On Saturday that margin drops to 13.25 points per game while winning teams are scoring 72.5 points per game & losing teams 61.8 per contest on average. Winning teams are shooting 41.2% (98/238) in those games & 36.1% (34/94) from 3 point range. In losses teams are posting a field goal percentage of 34.9% (88/252) & 28.7% (28/87) beyond the arc. 

A look ahead…

As of Monday we have two series postponed due to COVID-19 issues. We do not know if WAC officials will adjust the schedule so that those teams not affected will play each other. 

Chicago State @ California Baptist University

For the Lancers this week is about staying focused on what’s in front of them heading into what is expected to be a bye week with Dixie State suspending their season in good form. They’ve set a record for longest winning streak in the division one era & will currently have to complete an undefeated regular season, win a WAC tournament title, and two postseason tournament games to match an NCAA era 27 game winning streak set in ’16-’17.

After the break CBU is home to NMSU, @ UTRGV, hosting GCU, and @ Seattle to finish. Chicago State has only played three times in 2020-21 with five postponements (four in WAC play and been competitive once, a thirteen point loss to Loyola University/Chicago. 

Idle >>New Mexico State, UTRGV, Dixie State and Grand Canyon University 

Done for the Year>>Dixie State

 

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