Kylee Mabry had a career-high 14 points to help Utah Valley pick up a big home win on Thursday. Courtesy UVU Athletics.

WBB: Favorites Win, Regular Season Race Tightens

If there was a theme to the Thursday slate of games, it was regular season title favorites escaping with victories as half the slate of games was decided by 10 points or less.

Let’s get to the breakdown and set up a big Saturday.

Southern Utah 63, New Mexico State 56

In Cedar City, it wasn’t the prettiest of starts for Southern Utah who trailed 10-2 early in the first quarter. However, the T-Birds buckled down defensively, held New Mexico State to 19 second half points and maintained their one-game lead atop the regular season standings with a big win at home. Cherita Daugherty had 28 points and 8 rebounds to lead Southern Utah while Daylani Ballena added 11 points and Lizzie Williamson chipped in 10 points with 11 rebounds. Alexa Lord had a couple of key baskets in the stretch run and provided SUU’s only bench scoring.

For New Mexico State, the Aggies got 15 points from Molly Kaiser. Sylena Peterson added 10 points with five rebounds.

Grand Canyon 70, Sam Houston 68

In Huntsville, the Lopes were one of the favorites who won on Thursday. GCU trailed by 11 points with 2:43 left in the third quarter (53-42). However, GCU came roaring back to win on Olivia Lane’s put back with 1.4 seconds remaining. It was a costly victory however as Syd Palma was helped off the floor and did not return. Lane had 20 points and seven rebounds to lead the way while Naudia Evans added 13 points and Tiarra Brown added 11 points, seven rebounds and three assists.

Chyna Allen led the way with 17 points and hit a trio of shots from beyond the arc for Sam Houston. Mikayla Woods added 14 points while Madelyn Batista chipped in 13 points and nine rebounds in defeat.

California Baptist 77, Abilene Christian 75

In Abilene, CBU kept pace with the rest of the favorites in a barn burner. The Lancers prevailed in a shootout which saw the two teams combine to score 152 points, hit 23 3-pointers, and shoot a combined 45.1 percent from the field. Dorcas Wu led the Lancers with 17 points (connecting on five 3-pointers) and eight rebounds. Adding another 17 points and six assists was Trinity San Antonio while Grace Schmidt chipped in 13 points and five rebounds. Chloe Webb added another 11 points for the Lancers.

In defeat, Maleeah Langstaff and Aspen Thornton both had 18 points to lead the Wildcats. Joining them in double digit scoring was Addison Martin with 13 points and five rebounds along with Madi Miller who added 10 points, nine rebounds and five assists.

Utah Valley 64, UT-Arlington 53

In Orem, a depleted Wolverines team got a big home win behind 14 points and six steals from Kylee Mabry. Ally Criddle added 13 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals while Mae Afoa chipped in 10 points and five rebounds.

Kayla White continued her stellar play in the conference with 20 points while hitting a trio of 3-pointers. Kamaria Gipson added 13 points and 10 rebounds while Starr Jacobs chipped in 10 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals.

Stephen F. Austin 76, UTRGV 42

In Nacogdoches, the Ladyjacks remained one of the favorites to win the regular season. SFA rolled to a comfortable win at home behind 18 points and seven rebounds from Aiyana Johnson. Zoe Nelson had a career day with 15 points and 15 rebounds while Jordan Harrison chipped in 13 points, six assists and five rebounds for Stephen F. Austin.

Iyana Dorsey had 12 points to lead UTRGV while Tiffany McGarity added 10.

Seattle U 62, Tarleton 49

At the Redhawk Center, Seattle U got a nice win at home as they climb their way towards the middle of the regular season standings. Julianna Walker came off the bench and led the Redhawks with 15 points (hitting five 3-pointers) and six rebounds. Joining her in double digit scoring was Taliyah Clark who had a near double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds and Peyton Howard who added another 11 points.

Mayra Caicedo led the Texans with 14 points.

Saturday’s Schedule

California Baptist at Tarleton – 2 p.m. CT

Grand Canyon at Stephen F. Austin – 3 p.m. CT

New Mexico State at Utah Tech – 3 p.m. CT

Southern Utah at Utah Valley – 3 p.m. CT

Abilene Christian at UTRGV – 4 p.m. CT

UT Arlington at Seattle – 5 p.m. CT


About the author

Derryl Trujillo

Derryl Trujillo is a Southern California based sportswriter who won the 2019 Inland Empire Baseball Coaches Association's Supporter of the Year award. He joined the WAC Hoops Digest staff in 2020 and also covers local sports for Inland Sports and the Valley News. Before transitioning to media Derryl was a high school, collegiate and club volleyball official along with serving as a high school basketball scorekeeper for ten years.

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