The GCU women's basketball team continues to win and keep itself in contention for the regular season crown. Courtesy GCU Athletics.

CBU Stays Perfect, Overtime Thrillers Highlight Women’s Recap

We had two overtime games including a buzzer beater and five games decided by an average margin of victory of just under eight points per game on this Saturday of WACtion. Plus I’ve got more from the Lancers and Wildcats matchup that had all the feel of a tournament semifinal.

CBU 77, Abilene Christian 71 

We’ll start with the defending tournament and regular season champions CBU ,who in Riverside survived a major scare from Abilene Christian, and are a Thursday win away from meeting Stephen F. Austin for sole possession of first place.

This game featured 10 ties and 15 lead changes over the course of 40 minutes. But, the game came down to two final defensive stands by the Lancers. A 6-0 run on layups from Caitlyn Harper, Georgia Dale, and Dorcas Wu put CBU up 72-66 with 2:33 left in the fourth quarter. The Wildcats then responded with a Madi Miller 3-pointer and Tatum Barber’s put back to make it 72-71 Lancers with 22 seconds left.

However, the Lancer defense stepped up with Tiena Neale blocking a Jamie Bonnarens 3-pointer and a forced turnover on an inbounds pass with 8.6 seconds left. From there, the Lancers hit their free throws to seal it.

“A split on the road in this conference is a good thing,” ACU head coach Julie Goodenough said via phone. “But losing both leaves a sour taste in your mouth. The tape doesn’t do justice to just how good that team is and we were right there with them. But you’re not going to win a lot of games with nine fourth quarter turnovers. We’ve gotta work on being stronger with the ball in late game situations going forward and still have a lot to play for with seeding in Las Vegas at stake.”

“We’ve played a lot of close games this year,” CBU head coach Jarrod Olson said. “But it’s been awhile since we’ve been in one and it was definitely the toughest game we’ve played in conference thus far. There’s just a lot more good teams here and we’re significantly improved with these Texas teams joining us. These are the kind of games kids want to play in because you’ve played better teams and every win is earned. It’s not unreasonable to think we can get four teams to a postseason tournament of some sort (in a year or so) and you’ll know we’ve arrived as a conference if we can get that second WNIT spot.”

Harper, who recently joined the 1,000 point club, added about the milestone…”It’s pretty special to do it here with this team. I owe it to my teammates but it’s just a really cool achievement.”

Ane Olaeta had 18 pts, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, and 4 steals to lead the Lancers. Harper added 17 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 assists. Freshman Trinity San Antonio continued her recent good form with 11 points, 2 assists, and 2 steals.

Olson added about San Antonio.

“She gives us a different element out there with her end to end speed and has done a great job with Britney Thomas missing time recently.”

Madi Miller had 15 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists to lead the Wildcats. Bella Earle continues to make a name for herself in the Freshman of the Year discussion adding another 15 points with 5 rebounds and 2 assists. Barber had 13 points and 11 rebounds to round out the double figure scorers for ACU.

Tarleton 57, Seattle 56 (OT)

There was an overtime thriller at the Redhawk Center on Saturday. Malaya Kendrick’s buzzer beater helped Tarleton earn a split of their West Coast road trip by knocking off the Redhawks in dramatic fashion.

Kendrick, Seynabou Thiam, Jurnee President, and Jenna Dick spread the wealth scoring 12 points each. Thiam added 15 rebounds for the Texans while Dick went 4-8 from 3-point range.

Bree Calhoun had 14 points and 5 rebounds to lead the Redhawks. Georgia Kehoe added a double double of 10 points and 11 rebounds with 5 blocks. Courtney Murphy also had 10 points and 5 rebounds.

Lamar 59, Utah Valley 55 (2OT)

With the weekend sweep in Beaumont, Aqua Franklin’s squad keeps themselves in position for a reasonable seed come WAC tournament time.

Angel Hastings had 15 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals to lead the Cardinals. Micaela Wilson added 11 points with 4 rebounds for the duo coming off the bench. Akasha Davis chipped in 10 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 steals while Malay McQueen contributed another 10 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals.

Shay Fano led the Wolverines with 14 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists. Josie Williams had 10 points, 12 rebounds, and 2 assists while Madison Grange followed her career day with 10 points and 8 rebounds.

Grand Canyon 73, Sam Houston 54

Don’t let the final score fool you. This was a 1-point Lopes lead at half. The GCU offense then erupted for 50 second half points as they stayed a game back of undefeated CBU and Stephen F. Austin.

Amara Graham had 24 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals to lead the Lopes. Dominique Phillips added 16 points while Tiarra Brown added 11 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals for GCU.

“We’re working on some things to isolate Dom and Amara offensively and they’re taking advantage of their opportunities,” GCU head coach Molly Miller said. “Heading into New Mexico State, we’re going to have a couple of days of fundamental work before getting ready for the Aggies and then SFA that following Monday.”

Madelyn Batista had 18 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 steals to lead Sam Houston State. Courtney Cleveland added 13 points and 7 rebounds for the Bearkats.

UTRGV 75, Dixie State 68

In Edinburg, the Vaqueros split a home weekend and got above .500 in conference play behind big games from Taylor Muff and Iva Belosevic.

Muff, the grad transfer from Northern Colorado’s volleyball team, went off for 18 points and added 13 rebounds to lead the Vaqueros. Belosevic added 16 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 blocks for the Vaqueros.

Dixie State got 15 points and 8 assists from Breaunna Gillen. 14 points from Macie Warren who also hit four 3-pointers. And 12 points from Emily Issacson.

Monday, January 24>>

Utah Valley 65, Seattle 51

In Orem, the Wolverines continue to claw their way out of an 0-3 hole to start WAC play as Maria Carvalho, Josie Williams, and Babalu Stewart combined to score 41 of 65 Wolverine points against Seattle.

Carvalho led the way with 16 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds, and 3 steals. Williams added 12 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists while Stewart contributed 13 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists.

It was a struggle for the Redhawks offensively as they were held to just 18-52 FG shooting and 3-18 from deep. McKenzi Williams had 10 points, 3 rebounds, and 4 assists to lead the way.

Sam Houston 66, UTRGV 52

Brittany Mason finally gets her first WAC win as interim head coach of the Bearkats despite a big day from the Vaqueros Taylor Muff who went off for 28 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 steals.

For Sam Houston, Madelyn Batista led the way with a double double of 18 points & 11 rebounds. Courtney Cleveland added 16 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 assists. while Faith Cook chipped in 15 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists.

Tuesday, January 25>>

Chicago State 67, New Mexico State 64

At the Jones Convocation Center, Chicago State used a 24-9 fourth quarter to catch and overtake the Aggies, giving Tiffany Sardin her second WAC win as Cougar head coach.

Aaliyah Collins led the way for the home team off the bench with 17 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, and 4 steals. Jazmine Covington and Janiah Newell each added 13 points.

Bigue Sarr had a double double of 20 points & 14 rebounds to lead New Mexico State while Soufia Inoussa added 10 points and 4 rebounds.

Standings thru 1.25.22

CBU 15-2, 6-0

SFA 14-3, 5-0

GCU 12-5, 5-1

UTRGV 7-10, 3-3

Lamar 9-7, 4-3

ACU   12-7, 4-4

Tarleton 12-7, 4-4

NM State 4-6, 2-3

UVU 3-7, 3-4

Dixie State 3-7, 2-5

Chicago State 3-8, 2-4

Seattle 3-7, 1-5

Sam Houston State 2-9, 1-6

The Week Ahead…

Thursday 1.27.22>>

UTRGV @ Abilene Christian 5pm Central

Lamar @ Tarleton 5pm Central

Seattle @ Stephen F. Austin  530pm Central

CBU @ Sam Houston 530pm Central

Chicago State @ Utah Valley 6pm Mountain

Saturday 1.29.22>>

Lamar @ Abilene Christian 12pm Central

UTRGV @ Tarleton 1pm Central

CBU @ Stephen F. Austin 1pm Central

Seattle @ Sam Houston 2pm  Central

NM State @ Grand Canyon  2pm  Mountain

Dixie State @ Chicago State 3pm  Central







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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