Courtesy Western Athletic Conference

Collins, Phillips Duo to Watch as Lopes Look to Get Over the Hump in WAC Play

By all accounts the first two years of the Molly Miller era in Phoenix couldn’t have gone much better. The Lopes have been to back-to-back WAC tournament championship games, a WNIT appearance, and two top-3 regular season finishes.

However, like any team that is on the cusp of something big, Miller and the Lopes want more.

For a second straight year, the Lopes are the undisputed winners of offseason recruiting. In Phoenix, the question is, can they put it all together and get to the top of the WAC? And perhaps, for a second straight year, pulling in a former WAC foe could be the difference. Or, perhaps having your third leading scorer from a year ago back could do the trick.

One thing is for sure. GCU and Molly Miller are expecting big seasons from this dynamic duo.

Newcomer to Watch

Aaliyah Collins – G, So, (transfer from Chicago State)

Collins put up solid number for a Cougars side that departed the conference as the last academic year concluded in averaging 14.6 PPG, 3.0 APG, 2.4 SPG and 4.6 RPG en route to earning All-WAC 2nd team honors. She was top ten nationally in scoring and steals among the freshman class a year ago. Collins will be counted on to pick up some of the scoring vacated with Amara Graham’s graduation and should be again one of the conference’s upper echelon defenders.

“Aaliyah is a dynamic guard who has proven she can play at a high level on both sides of the ball,” GCU head coach Molly Miller said. “Our instant bond came from our love of defense. And that is what makes her a perfect addition to complement our system and help us reach our championship goals. She is a relentless worker, which will only help continue the momentum from her freshman campaign.”

Collins posted eight 20-point games, including a 26-point, 10-rebound game against Seattle U in another win. Collins also shot 41 percent from the field, 27 percent from 3-point range and 75 percent on free throws. Despite not winning WAC Freshman of the Year, Collins was the conference’s only freshman in the top-15 in scoring.

Returner to Watch

Dominique Phillips – F, Jr

Phillips, a native of Goodyear and graduate of Millennium HS, returned home after two years at Nevada and played a big role in the Lopes offense a season ago averaging 9.4 PPG (3rd), 3.2 RPG, 1.2 APG, 1.0 SPG in nearly 20 minutes of work. As part of a furious 4th quarter rally on Nov 16th against Eastern Washington which gave Molly Miller career win 200 she went off for 29 points on 6-8 from 3 with 4 rebounds and 3 steals.

Phillips shot close to 30 percent from 3-point land. And the free throw shooting needs to improve. Phillips was shot less than 70 percent from the charity stripe in 2021-22. As those marks go up, the Lopes chances of getting where they want to go should too.

She was an WAC All-Academic selection last season.

Dominique Phillips is a returner that is flying under the radar a bit for GCU women’s basketball. Courtesy GCU Athletics.




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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