Breaunna Gillen and Utah Tech face California Baptist on Wednesday in the WAC quarterfinals. Courtesy Western Athletic Conference.

WBB: Will Quarterfinal Day Bring Even More Chaos?

On Wednesday, the WAC women’s basketball tournament returns to its traditional home at The Orleans Arena for Quarterfinal Day. All of which should be as competitive as Monday’s first round slate.

The defending champs take the floor against their rivals. Game two features a pair of teams that can light up the scoreboard. The regular season champs get to take the floor in their first-ever WAC Tournament. And if the pattern from the first two days of WAC Vegas holds serve, we might be in for another doozy.

It is Quarterfinal Day on WAC Wednesday. Will things get WACky?

1 – Stephen F. Austin vs. 9 – Sam Houston, Noon PST ESPN+

After UT Arlington’s upset over Seattle on Monday, every higher seed has to realize that fate can await them on a bad day. Sam Houston rallied from a 15-point deficit to defeat Abilene Christian on a Mikayla Woods layup with under 10 seconds to go on Monday to advance to Quarterfinal Day.

However, in the two regular season matchups this year, the Ladyjacks have won by a combined margin of 22 points. Both sides are determined to win what might be the final Battle of Piney Woods with Sam Houston moving to Conference USA next year. This game features first team All-WAC selections Avery Brittingham and Aiyana Johnson. SFA also features Freshman of the Year Jordan Harrison. Sam Houston features second team selection Madelyn Batista.

Beat a team three times in a season is a tall task. Is an upset on the horizon in game one of Quarterfinal Day?

Predictions:

Derryl-Stephen F. Austin

Chelsea-Stephen F. Austin

Quarterfinal
Can Mikayla Woods and Sam Houston pull off another stunner on Quarterfinal Day? Courtesy Western Athletic Conference.

4 – California Baptist vs. 5 – Utah Tech, 2 p.m. PST ESPN+

Last time these two teams met, two weeks ago in Riverside, the Lancers trailed by five at one point. However, CBU outscored Utah Tech 25-16 in the fourth to scratch out a four-point win. The two teams combined to hit 21 3-pointers and record 40 assists on 52 field goals.

In short, if you want offense, this is your game. CBU is looking for a third straight WAC tournament semifinal appearance. Meanwhile JD Gustin’s Trailblazers are looking for a second Division I postseason win in as many days. This game features first team selections Breaunna Gillen and Trinity San Antonio along with second team selection Grace Schmidt, who combined to score 56 points in the first meeting.

This quarterfinal matchup might be the Game of the Day at the Orleans Arena.

Predictions:

Derryl-CBU

Chelsea-CBU

2 – Southern Utah vs. 7 – New Mexico State, 6 p.m. PST ESPN+

This quarterfinal matchup may prove to be entertaining.

Southern Utah had to escape in both of their regular season matchups against the Aggies. In the last meeting at the America First Events Center, New Mexico State jumped out to an early 12-2 lead before falling by seven points. Meanwhile, in their first matchup, it came down to the wire but Southern Utah prevailed 61-58.

New Mexico State’s defense has been on point for much of Jody Adams first year. Can they get enough stops and hit enough shots to avoid losing the season series and falling in their final WACVegas quarterfinal appearance?

This game features Defensive Player of the Year Lizzy Williamson, Sixth Woman and Newcomer of the Year Tomekia Whitman along with first team selection Cherita Daugherty for Southern Utah. Molly Kaiser has been on good form recently for the Aggies, scoring 25 points in Monday’s win at Michelob Ultra Arena.

Predictions:

Chelsea-Southern Utah

Derryl-New Mexico State

3 – Grand Canyon vs. 11 – Seattle U, 8 p.m. PST ESPN+

Well this isn’t the matchup most of us thought the Lopes would have to open their quest for a third straight WAC Tournament finals appearance. Alas, it’s the one we have after the Redhawks pulled off a massive upset on Monday night.

Molly Miller’s crew comfortably defeated Seattle U by 35 in Phoenix on February 18. The Lopes forced 28 Seattle U turnovers and held them to 26.8 percent shooting. GCU led from tip to the final horn in that win.

A young Redhawk team got their signature victory of the campaign on Monday and will have to eclipse it again to reach Friday’s semifinal round. GCU features two All-WAC Defensive Team selections in Tiarra Brown and Aalyiah Collins. Brown was also named a first team selection.

Predictions:

Chelsea-GCU

Derryl-GCU

Taliyah Clark and Seattle U got a big upset win on Monday. Is another one in store on WAC Wednesday? Courtesy Western Athletic Conference.

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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