We’ve got a full slate of Thursday games to begin week seven of conference play. Most notable among this slate is New Mexico State traveling to first place Southern Utah and GCU visiting a red-hot Sam Houston team coming off a West Coast sweep. Let’s get to it.
Tarleton at Seattle – 1 p.m. CT ESPN+
2022-23 has just been a struggle for the Texans in conference play. The Texans fell a game out of the final qualifying spot at WACVegas next month after a home overtime loss to Utah Valley. Tarleton starts the week with a really competitive Seattle team. The Redhawks have been competitive in all but one conference game.
Tarleton then heads home for a Saturday contest against CBU. Taliyah Clark, Peyton Howard and Irena Korolenko have all been really good for Suzy Barcomb and the Redhawks recently. Tarleton’s biggest question is the offense. Who steps up and scores it behind Teresa Da Silva?
UTRGV at Stephen F. Austin – 1 p.m. CT ESPN+
It was the Vaqueros who ended Stephen F. Austin’s undefeated conference campaign a season ago in the Sawmill. By that point, the Ladyjacks had already clinched a regular season title. However, in 2022-23, it’s a different story. And Thursday, there is a chance at redemption for the Ladyjacks.
The Ladyjacks find themselves chasing newcomer Southern Utah, who they trail by a game and play next Saturday in Cedar City. Iyana Dorsey has played well for the Vaqueros this season. Question is, who will support her offensively? Deborah Ogayemi and Charlotte O’Keefe have each shown moments of brilliance along with Mele Kaliahi.
Aiyana Johnson is coming off a 28-point outburst in SFA’s win at Tarleton on Monday.
New Mexico State at Southern Utah – 2 p.m. CT
This one is perhaps the biggest game of the Thursday slate depending on which race you’re following. The T-Birds hold a one-game lead over Stephen F. Austin after that Starr Jacobs tip-in on Monday, which sent the the T-Birds home with their first conference loss.
Meanwhile, the Aggies got a key road win at CBU. However, the Aggies could not overcome a 14-2 early deficit in Saturday’s in their final regular season encounter with GCU.
Tayelin Grays put the Aggies on her back in the loss with 23 points. How will she follow it up?
California Baptist at Abilene Christian – 4 p.m. CT
It was a disappointing week for the Lancers. Coming into the week, CBU was still very much in the race for the regular season title. The Lancers had swept UT Arlington and SFA. However, with two very narrow losses to New Mexico State and Sam Houston in Riverside, the Lancers came back to Earth.
That being said, the Lancers are in a three-way tie for third in the regular season standings, just a game and a half behind Southern Utah.
Abilene Christian split a pair of games last week in Moody Coliseum, ending the week by hitting 11 3-pointers in a blowout win over Utah Valley.
Grand Canyon at Sam Houston – 6:30 p.m. CT
For the final time as conference foes in regular season play, Molly Miller’s team makes the trip to Huntsville looking to maintain contact with Southern Utah. The Lopes are a game and a half out of first place and have won two straight games by a combined 14 points.
Sam Houston swept the Seattle/CBU trip and has Player of the Week Madelyn Batista on good form recently. Meanwhile, GCU’s Olivia Lane basically carried the Lopes to a win in Las Cruces last Saturday.
UT Arlington at Utah Valley 7 p.m. CT
The Lady Mavs were the first to knock Southern Utah from the ranks of the unbeaten on Starr Jacobs tip-in at the buzzer. Can they sustain the momentum from that emotional win on an West Coast swing? It starts in Orem on Thursday against a Utah Valley team that is hurting.
Dan Nielson’s group is without Jaeden Brown, Kayla Anderson and both Mae Afoa and Elyana Tafisi missed Monday’s loss to ACU. Kaylee Byon has been on good form recently for the Wolverines and one could argue should’ve been last week’s Freshman of the Week.