Sam Houston
Cam Steele and ACU are looking to leave Las Vegas with a win. Courtesy ACU Athletics.

MBB: UTA, Sam Houston, ACU Looking to End MTE on High Note

The final day of three multi-team events is upon us on Wednesday. UT Arlington, Sam Houston and ACU are all looking to end their 2022 MTE’s on a high note. All three games are afternoon matinees. Thus, starting off the Thanksgiving celebration on the right foot may begin early.

Mavericks Looking for Second Straight Win

Brandyn Talbot and Aaron Cash made sure UT Arlington got at least one win at the Gulf Coast Showcase. Talbot had a season-high 15 points, Cash had 14 points and UTA held off Northern Kentucky on Tuesday afternoon at Hertz Arena.

Now, the Mavericks finish up their trip to Florida against East Carolina Wednesday afternoon. UTA is playing for a fifth place finish in the Gulf Coast Showcase. East Carolina lost to Indiana State on Monday and beat Toledo on Tuesday to set the stage for Wednesday’s matchup.

Can the Mavericks build off the offensive performance on Tuesday? UTA shot just under 46 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3-point land. Talbot was 5-8 from 3-point land. And Aaron Cash was 6-7 from the field in the win. Head coach Greg Young would like his squad to take care of the basketball a little better. UTA committed 17 turnovers on Tuesday in the win.

Tip is set for 1:30 p.m. ET.

Can Bearkats Stay Perfect?

There are a few things on the line for Sam Houston on Wednesday at the Fort Myers Tip-Off.

First, an undefeated season. Second, bringing home the Fort Myers Tip-Off Palms Division championship trophy. Third, statement to the WAC that the Bearkats are on the prowl.

Okay, so that third one was pretty tacky. But, considering Sam Houston was picked outside of the top-5 in each of the preseason polls, the WAC has to take notice. Qua Grant has been dynamic. Lamar Wilkerson has been really good so far in 2022-23. And the Bearkats defend. Perhaps the thing of most importance is there is a lack of selfishness on this Bearkat squad. They don’t care who gets the glory. The only thing they care about is winning.

Yes, Sam Houston got the upset wins at Oklahoma and Utah. And in their first test against a 50/50 opponent, the Bearkats won by 30-plus. Now, on Wednesday, in another 50/50 game, can Sam Houston do the same thing? Another statement win would be a good thing heading into a semi break before heading to Reno next week.

Tip is set for 1:30 p.m. ET.

Can Wildcats Leave Las Vegas With a Win?

In the battle of the Wildcats on Tuesday night, it was the Weber State Wildcats that walked out of The Dollar Loan Center with a double-digit win. Now, can the ACU Wildcats right the ship in a quick turnaround against a really good UC Riverside squad?

Cam Steele and Tobias Cameron were solid on Tuesday night. Hunter Jack Madden was really good, as well. But, if ACU is to get a win on Wednesday, Airion Simmons has to be better. And Ali Dibba has to be more involved on the offensive side of the floor. Dibba’s ability to slash and finish at the rim make him a matchup nightmare.

ACU is 1-3 against Division I competition in 2022-23. And a win against a Big West opponent on Thanksgiving Eve is a good way to right that ship. Brette Tanner’s group can defend. And at times, the Wildcats show life on offense. Wednesday night is an opportunity to put two and two together and get the job done. Otherwise, the Wildcats may never want to come back to Las Vegas.

Tip is set for 5:30 p.m. CT.


About the author

Kyle McDonald

Love everything about WAC Hoops so decided I wanted to write more about it and cover this amazing conference that just keeps getting better. Follow us on Twitter @wachoopsdigest for information, game analysis and much more.

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