It was a four game slate around the WAC on Thursday. One team survivied a late rally to stay undefeated. Two teams got above .500 heading into key matchups. And another got red hot from 3-point range in a win.
Let’s jump right into the Thursday night rapid recap. We will also set the stage for a busy Saturday.
Sam Houston 69, Abilene Christian 66
A year ago the Abilene Christian women’s basketball team fought their way out of a 19-point deficit to defeat New Mexico State at home.
Thursday night, the Wildcats found themselves trailing by 24 against Sam Houston and trying to duplicate the same magic.
However, the rally that saw Abilene Christian have two late possessions with opportunities to force overtime or take a lead fell short.
This game was full of incredible individual performances.
For the Bearkats it was Sydnee Kemp leading the way with 21 points and a pair of rebounds. Chyna Allen added 18 points with another pair of rebounds while Madelyn Batista had 11 points, nine rebounds, and two steals. Also in double digit scoring for Sam Houston was Kaylee Jefferson with 10 points and three rebounds.
In defeat, Abilene Christian got a career day from Addison Martin with 29 points and five rebounds. Aspen Thornton added 11 points, four assists, and two steals while Maleeah Langstaff chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds.
Sam Houston State joins Southern Utah at 2-0 in WAC play and will host Utah Tech on Saturday afternoon. Meanwhile, the Wildcats, who could very easily be 3-0 so far, fall to 1-2 and will host UT Arlington on Saturday.
Stephen F. Austin 99, Utah Tech 51
After getting quite a scare from a hot 3-point shooting Abilene Christian team on Saturday, the Ladyjacks took that page from the Wildcats playbook and hit 15 3-pointers to win handily in Nacogdoches.
Also in double digit scoring for Stephen F. Austin were Destini Lombard who had 13 points, Kurstyn Harden with 12 points and 8 rebounds and Aiyana Johnson added another 12 points with 3 steals and 3 assists. Tyler McCliment-Call chipped in 11 points (hitting another trio of threes) and 4 rebounds.
In defeat, Breaunna Gillen had 19 points for Utah Tech while Maggie McCord added 16 points and hit a quartet of 3-pointers.
Stephen F. Austin (2-0) will catch a flight to Phoenix for their Saturday afternoon matchup against Grand Canyon while Utah Tech (1-2) stays in Texas and visits Sam Houston.
— SFA Women's Basketball (@SFAWBB) January 6, 2023
Grand Canyon 70, Tarleton 51
In Phoenix on Thursday, the Lopes used an 11-0 run in the first quarter to grab an early lead and then took care of business against a struggling Texans side. Aaliyah Collins led the way with 14 points, three rebounds, and two assists while Olivia Lane added 10 points and three rebounds.
In defeat, the Texans got 19 points from Teresa Da Silva.
GCU moves to 2-1 in WAC play and welcomes Stephen F. Austin to Phoenix on Saturday afternoon while the Texans (0-3) make a stop in Las Cruces to play New Mexico State.
California Baptist 74, Seattle 62
At the Redhawk Center on Thursday, it was Kinsley Barrington with the big night to push CBU to 2-1 in WAC play. The junior transfer from Southern Utah had her finest outing in Lancer blue with 21 points and five rebounds as CBU withstood a couple of Seattle runs to bounce back from a tough loss in Phoenix.
Grace Schmidt added 11 points and five rebounds while Chloe Webb chipped in 10 points, nine rebounds, three assists, and a pair of steals in the win.
For Seattle (1-2), Julianna Walker had 14 points, four rebounds, and four assists while Taliyah Clark added 10 points and four rebounds.
Seattle will stay at home to host conference co-leader Southern Utah on Saturday while CBU continues its road trip with a visit to Orem to face Utah Valley.
So far on the week road teams are 4-2 and the average margin of victory is 16.3 points. It’s closer to 10 points if removing the SFA blowout of Utah Tech.