Naudia Evans returned to the lineup for GCU on Saturday as the Lopes knocked off California Baptist in Phoenix. Courtesy David Kadlubowski/GCU Athletics.

WBB: Road Wins, Rivalry Wins Highlight Rapid Recap

New Year’s Eve brought a slate of rivalry games and road wins to close out the year and opening week of the 2022-23 season. The defending champions survived a scare, a pair of regular season title contenders split their games this week, and a newcomer reached 2-0 among other results. Let’s jump into the final rapid recap of 2022.

Grand Canyon 70, California Baptist  60

If ever there was a team that needed a win, it was the Lopes who fell in double overtime at Utah Valley to open WAC play. It was the third straight loss for the Lopes.

GCU had never lost four straight since Molly Miller came to Phoenix. And behind an impressive return from an underclassman that streak stays intact.

Naudia Evans led GCU with 25 points, knocking down five 3-pointers as she returned after missing the loss in Orem on Thursday.

Olivia Lane added 14 points and five rebounds while Aalyiah Collins added 10 points, five steals, four rebounds, and three assists.

After an opening night win against UT Arlington at home, CBU battled, but remains winless in true road games this year. Grace Schmidt led the Lancers with 16 points and eight rebounds while Nae Nae Calhoun came alive in the fourth quarter and finished with 15 points.

Stephen F. Austin 83, Abilene Christian 78

In a renewal of the rivalry from their days from the Southland Conference, it was a freshman who led the Ladyjacks to an opening victory as they begin defense of last year’s regular season and tournament titles.

Kyla Deck had 18 points and was a perfect 3-3 from 3-point range to lead the way as SFA rallied from a halftime deficit.

Avery Brittingham added 17 points, 15 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks, and 2 steals in the win. And Jordan Harrison added 14 points, 5 assists, and 3 steals. Tyler McCliment-Call chipped in 12 points.

In defeat for ACU, Aspen Thornton had 20 points, 6 steals, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds. Madi Miller and Addison Martin each added 18 points. Miller hit a career high six 3-pointers.

Southern Utah 61, New Mexico State 58

It wasn’t easy in Las Cruces. But the T-Birds completed opening week with a pair of wins. And it took a fourth quarter rally at the Pan Am Center to get there.

Cherita Daugherty led the way with 26 points and five rebounds. Southern Utah shot 53.8 percent from the field in the win but had 22 turnovers which kept New Mexico State in the game.

In defeat, the Aggies were led by Molly Kaiser’s 18 points. The Aggies are now 4-7 in games decided by 10 points or less in 2022-23. In fact, the Aggies need just one more win to match their total in that category from last year.

Utah Tech 68, Utah Valley 58

After a tough first quarter in which they were outscored 26-4 at Southern Utah on Thursday, the Trailblazers were able to keep things competitive.

And on Saturday, it was home sweet home for the Trailblazers. Utah Tech got back on the winning track behind a big day from Amber Kartchner.

For a second time in three games, the transfer from BYU recorded 19 points. It’s the fourth game in the last eight in which she reached double figure scoring.

Emily Isaacson, Breaunna Gillen, and Maggie McCord all joined Kartchner in double figure scoring. Issacson added nine rebounds and a pair of blocks to scare a double-double. Gillen added six assists and McCord completed a double-double with 10 rebounds.

Jaeden Brown completed an impressive week by leading the Wolverines with 31 points and 10 rebounds while Ally Criddle added 12 points.

Emily Isaacson had a team-high 16 points to lead Utah Tech to a win over in-state rival Utah Valley on Saturday. Courtesy Utah Tech Athletics.

Seattle 59  UTRGV 53:

It was a long non-conference for the Seattle U women’s basketball team as wins have been hard to come by.

However, they end 2022 with their first win of the season. And it came on the road in Edinburg after outscoring the Vaqueros 22-14 in the fourth quarter.

Taliyah Clark led the way with 20 points, hitting a quartet of 3-pointers while Mya Moore added 12 points for Seattle. In defeat, UTRGV was led by Male Kaliahi who recorded 16 points and 10 rebounds.

UT Arlington 92 Tarleton 68:

After a disappointing trip to Southern California, the Lady Mavs got back on track at home on Saturday. And it was a wire-to-wire win for the Lady Mavs.

Kayla White had 21 points to lead the way. Starr Jacobs, Jireh Washington, and De’Sha Benjamin also scored in double digits.

In defeat, Teresa Da Silva had 14 points to lead the Texans. Elise Turrubiates added 11 points and Tyler Jackson had 10 points for Tarleton.

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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