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This Week in WAC Men's Basketball - Dec. 26

This Week in WAC Men's Basketball - Dec. 26

Complete Release in PDF

UTAH VALLEY'S MACDOUGALL NAMED WAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Utah Valley graduate student forward Connor MacDougall has been named Western Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 17-23. This is his first-ever WAC Player of the Week honor.

The Tempe, Ariz. native missed just one shot all week, knocking down 17-of-18 shots for a 94.4 percent field goal percentage. MacDougall averaged 20.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.0 steal and 1.0 block as the Wolverines went 2-0 on the week. He opened the week with a career-high 28 points and a career-high 10 rebounds in a win over Idaho State. MacDougall set a Utah Valley single-game field goal percentage record as he knocked down a perfect 12-of-12 shots from the floor, surpassing the previous mark of 8-for-8. It also marks the second-best mark in the country this season behind only Levi Bradley of Northern Illinois, who made a perfect 13-of-13 shots against Oakland on Nov. 25. It was MacDougall's first double-double of the season. He also tallied two steals, one block and an assist. MacDougall followed it up with 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting, six rebounds, four assists and a blocked shot in a win over Sam Houston State last Saturday as the Wolverines extended their home winning streak to 20 straight games. MacDougall entered the week averaging 7.2 points on 59.3 percent shooting and 2.9 rebounds per game.

Other nominees included: California Baptist's Milan Acquaah averaged 23.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists as the Lancers went 2-0 on the week ... Jarkel Joiner of CSU Bakersfield averaged 16.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals as the 'Runners went 2-0 last week ... Chicago State's Christian Jacob averaged 10.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals over three games ... Alessandro Lever of Grand Canyon averaged 21.5 points and 5.0 rebounds in a pair of wins ... Kansas City's Jamel Allen averaged 14.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.0 blocks as the Roos went 1-1 on the week ... Eli Chuha of NM State averaged 11.8 points on 81.8 percent shooting to go along with 7.3 rebounds as the Aggies went 3-1 on the week ... Seattle U's Myles Carter averaged a double-double of 16.5 points and 10.5 rebounds in a pair of wins ... Javon Levi of UT Rio Grande Valley averaged 11.5 points, 5.0 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals as the Vaqueros went 1-1 on the week.

WAC QUICK HITS
Utah Valley's Conner Toolson scored his 1,000th career point in his team's win over Sam Houston State on Dec. 22 to become the second active player in the WAC with 1,000 career points ... CSU Bakersfield's Jarkel Joiner grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds on Dec. 18 against Cal Poly and scored a career-high 24 points on Dec. 20 at Portland State ... Kansas City's Jamel Allen scored a career-high 18 points against Elon on Dec. 22 ... Grand Canyon's Alessandro Lever scored a career-high 26 points vs. Mississippi Valley State on Dec. 22 ... Through games played on Dec. 22, California Baptist's Milan Acquaah's season averages for points (21.6), rebounds (5.1), assists (3.3) and steals (2.0) are the best in NCAA Division I with no other players averaging more than him in all four statistical categories ... UTRGV scored 26 points off of 18 turnovers to beat McNeese State 68-64 on Dec. 22 ... Seattle U is off to its best start to a season in over 50 years as it has won eight of its last nine outings ... CSUB's Rickey Holden dished out a career-high nine assists against Lamar on Dec. 13 ... Utah Valley's Jake Toolson grabbed a career-high 12 boards at Weber State on Dec. 15 when the Wolverines won for the first-ever time in Ogden ... CSUB's James Suber grabbed a career-high 19 boards against UC Merced on Dec. 4, two shy of the CSUB single-game record, and scored a career-high 20 points at Idaho on Dec. 8 ... Chicago State's Anthony Harris scored a career-high 27 points against Trinity Christian ... Kansas City won two-straight true road non-conference games for the first time since 2010 ... On Dec. 5 against North Dakota, UTRGV grabbed 21 steals, the third-highest single-game total in program history and most since Jan. 5, 1981, when the team grabbed a program record 24 steals against Texas Southern. UTRGV grabbed 18 steals in the first half, more than any WAC institution had in a full game this season. Javon Levi led the team with a career-high and NCAA season-best six steals. UTRGV also forced 30 turnovers, the team's highest total since forcing 30 at Texas State on Dec. 5, 2009 ... Chicago State won three-straight games for the first time in more than five years ... Utah Valley boasts a 20-game home win streak, the fourth-best active home win streak in the nation ... NM State defeated Washington State on Dec. 1 to take down its first Power-5 program at home since 2002 ... Kansas City's Rob Whitfield scored a career-high 23 points and drained a career-high seven three-pointers in a win at Fort Wayne on Dec. 1. He also dished out a career-best six assists ... Chicago State's Rob Shaw posted his first career double-doubles in back-to-back games with 18 points and 10 assists against East-West and 14 points and a career-high 11 assists against Eastern Illinois ... Grand Canyon's Carlos Johnson scored 12 of GCU's 19 points in a stretch which helped the Lopes overcome an 11-point deficit in a win over Boise State on Dec. 1 ... On Dec. 1, UTRGV beat UT Arlington for the first time since Nov. 27, 2006, and won in Arlington for the first time since Jan. 11, 1989 ... UTRGV became the 28th team in NCAA history and second in WAC history to come back from a 24 or more point deficit by beating Lamar 77-75 on Nov. 23 ... CBU's Acquaah was named to the Continental Tire Las Vegas Holiday Classic All-Tournament Team ... GCU's Lever was named to the Wooden Legacy All-Tournament Second Team ... Seattle U's Morgan Means scored a career-high 26 points, including a career-high six three-pointers, against Denver on Nov. 23 ... Kansas City's Xavier Bishop scored a career-high 28 points against Eastern Washington on Nov. 17 ... CSUB's Damiyne Durham was named to the all-tournament team at the Junkanoo Jam ... NM State's AJ Harris exploded for a career-high 31 points on 9-of-11 shooting at New Mexico on Nov. 17. He also went 6-for-6 from beyond the arc in the game the first Aggie to be perfect from three-point land (minimum 5) since Jahmar Young on Dec. 23, 2009 ... UTRGV's Lesley Varner II posted his first double-double of the season scoring 15 points with 10 rebounds against Prairie View A&M on Nov. 14 ... CSUB's Holden did not miss a shot (8-for-8) on the way to a team-high 25 points against Antelope Valley on Nov. 9 to tie CSUB's Division I record for field goal percentage ... Grand Canyon had 51 rebounds against Delaware State, the third-most ever in Division I play and just the fifth time it has recorded 50-plus rebounds in a game ... UTRGV sophomore Greg Bowie II scored a career-high 19 points on Nov. 6 against Texas A&M Commerce ... Utah Valley's Baylee Steele pulled down a school-record 19 rebounds at BYU on Nov. 9.

WAC STAT LEADERS
Seattle U leads the WAC in scoring (82.1), scoring margin (13.7), field goal percentage defense (38.6), three-point field goal percentage (39.9) and blocks (4.5), while California Baptist is tops in free throw percentage (76.7), rebounding (38.6), defensive rebounds (29.1) and three-pointers per game (9.7).     NM State leads the WAC in scoring defense (66.2), rebounding defense (29.9) and rebounding margin (8.1), while UT Rio Grande Valley is tops in three-point field goal percentage defense (30.2), steals (9.6) and turnover margin (5.2). Utah Valley leads the WAC in field goal percentage (48.5) and assists (14.9), CSU Bakersfield is tops in offensive rebounds (13.6) and Grand Canyon leads the league in assist-turnover ratio (1.2).

Individually, California Baptist's Milan Acquaah leads the WAC in scoring (21.6), while teammate Dejon Davis is tops in rebounding (8.3) and defensive rebounds (6.6). NM State's Eli Chuha leads the league in field goal percentage (70.5), while Utah Valley's Jake Toolson and Seattle U's Aaron Nettles are tops in free throw percentage (86.4) and three-point percentage (53.1), respectively. Chicago State's Rob Shaw leads the WAC in assists (5.5) and UTRGV's Javon Levi is tops in steals (2.4). Kansas City's Rob Whitfield leads the WAC in three-pointers per game (3.2), while CSUB's James Suber is tops in offensive rebounds (3.3). Seattle U's Myles Carter leads the WAC in blocked shots (2.6), while teammates Terrell Brown and Morgan Means are tops in assist-turnover ratio (2.9) and minutes per game (34.7), respectively.

CSUB'S DURHAM FOUR THREE-POINTERS AWAY FROM ALL-TIME WAC RECORD
In his team's win over Lamar on Dec. 13, CSU Bakersfield senior Damiyne Durham became the Roadrunners' career record holder with 280 three-pointers. He now has 286 long balls, four shy of the all-time WAC record of 290 held by Utah State's Jaycee Carroll (2004-08). At his current pace, Durham will break the record in the team's WAC opener against Seattle U on Jan. 3.

WAC WINS #SummitVsWAC CHALLENGE
The WAC won the first-ever Summit League/WAC Challenge 6-3. The Challenge features head-to-head competition between all nine teams. Matchups were set based upon factors including the previous year's achievements, records and RPI rankings, as well as projected rankings in the upcoming season.

The complete list of 2018 matchups and results is below.

Nov. 6

Grand Canyon at South Dakota State

L, 74-79

Nov. 6

North Dakota State at NM State

W, 73-56

Nov. 13

California Baptist at Oral Roberts

W, 70-69

Dec. 1

Kansas City at Purdue Fort Wayne

W, 90-73

Dec. 1

CSU Bakersfield at South Dakota

L, 56-68

Dec. 1

Denver at Utah Valley

W, 98-75

Dec. 5

North Dakota at UT Rio Grande Valley

W, 70-56

Dec. 6

Omaha at Seattle U

W, 90-71

Dec. 20

Chicago State at Western Illinois

L, 52-81

 
FIVE WAC PLAYERS RANK AMONG NCAA ACTIVE CAREER LEADERS
Five WAC players currently rank among the NCAA active career leaders in several statistical categories. The players, schools, categories and rankings are listed below.

Name

School

Category

Rank

Amount

Damiyne Durham

CSU Bakersfield

3FGA

4th

847

Damiyne Durham

CSU Bakersfield

3FGM

5th

286

Matej Kavas

Seattle U

3FG%

11th

44.2

Damiyne Durham

CSU Bakersfield

Three-pointers/game

20th

2.7

Damiyne Durham

CSU Bakersfield

FGA

23rd

1,230

Jake Toolson

Utah Valley

FT%

24th

85.6

Eli Chuha

NM State

Double-Doubles

32nd

18

Eli Chuha

NM State

FG%

36th

57.3

Jordan Heading

California Baptist

3FGA

48th

528

 
GCU'S LEVER NAMED TO CENTER OF THE YEAR WATCH LIST
Grand Canyon sophomore Alessandro Lever was one of 21 college centers named to the preseason watch list for the 2019 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award. A national committee selected the candidates, which is presented by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The list will be narrowed to 10 centers in mid-February and then five finalists in March. Lever, the WAC Preseason Player of the Year, averaged a team-high 12.2 points and 4.4 rebounds per game last season as a freshman.