As many of you may know, on top of my duties here at WAC Hoops Digest, I am a student worker for GCUTV and the Athletics Department. My main job is as a Color Analyst for GCU Women’s Basketball, and let me tell you, I was beyond excited to see this CBU match-up pop up on my schedule.
The history of the programs, the high-level talent, excellent coaching, and of course Sydney Palma’s first year as a Lope after three years with the Lancers.
Needless to say, this will be an exciting game.
Something to Prove
These two teams have had very different starts to the season. GCU went 8-3 in non-conference play, including a six-game winning streak where they looked unstoppable. However, the Lopes are currently on a three-game losing streak after starting off conference play with a close loss in double overtime at Utah Valley. They’re certainly looking to snap that streak against the Lancers.
CBU, on the other hand, did not have quite a hot start. The Lancers only won four games in their difficult non-conference slate that included teams like Arizona, USC, and Santa Clara. Despite losing Trinity San Antonio indefinitely after just five games, they pulled out a fairly close win against UTA at home to open up conference play. They’re currently on a two-game win streak and want that to continue.
The Palma Problem
My absolute favorite Lopes player was one of my least favorite Lancers for the last couple of years. Sydney Palma decided to come back to her home state this offseason and so far has played solidly at GCU.
— GCU Women's Basketball (@GCU_WBB) May 12, 2022
After 12 games in the purple and white, the pass-first sharpshooter is averaging 8.6 points, 2.3 assists, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.8 steals. She’s also shooting 41 percent from the field and 31 percent from deep.
Obviously, there’s got to be some tension between these two teams with Syd on the other side of things. This is the case with any interconference transfer. But it’s even more apparent considering GCU swept Palma and the Lancers in the season series in 2021-22. We’ll see how much this affects her game as well as her former team’s.
What to Expect
I’m honestly not sure who I expect to win in this one. Any player on both sides could light it up on any given night. On the other hand, both of these teams have had nights where they’re cold. In short, anything could happen.
Can GCU right the ship after three straight losses? How will CBU handle success on the road? CBU swept the season series in 2020-21 and GCU returned the favor with a season sweep in 2021-22.
With that being said, with the history of these teams, it’s sure to be a fun and tense game no matter the result.