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This Week in WAC Men's Basketball - Jan. 15

This Week in WAC Men's Basketball - Jan. 15

Complete Release in PDF

UTAH VALLEY'S HARWARD NAMED WAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Utah Valley sophomore center Richard Harward has been named Western Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Jan. 7-13. This is his first WAC Player of the Week honor.

The Orem, Utah native had a career night as Utah Valley overcame a 20-point second half deficit to defeat Seattle U Saturday. Harward had a career-high 13 points, including seven in the second half comeback, to go along with a career-high 15 rebounds in a career-high 24 minutes of play. His previous career highs were four points, six rebounds and 10 minutes. He knocked down a perfect 4-of-4 shots from the field which were also career highs in both field goals made and attempted. Harward also connected on 4-of-6 shots from the charity stripe, which were also career highs, dished out a career-high two assists and blocked one shot.

Other nominees included: California Baptist's Jordan Heading averaged 23.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists as the Lancers went 1-1 on the week ... Rickey Holden of CSU Bakersfield averaged 17.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists as the 'Runners went 1-1 on the week ... Grand Canyon's Damari Milstead averaged 19.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.0 steal as the Lopes went 1-1 on the week ... Brandon McKissic of Kansas City finished with 17 points on 70 percent shooting, five rebounds, four steals and two assists in a win over California Baptist ... NM State's Terrell Brown averaged 17.0 points on 53.3 percent shooting, 5.5 rebounds and 1.0 steal as the Aggies went 2-0 on the week ... Terry Winn III of UT Rio Grande Valley averaged 19.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.0 steal on the week.

WAC QUICK HITS
Utah Valley boasts a 21-game home win streak, the second-best active home win streak in the nation ... Kansas City is 2-0 in conference for the first time since the 2013-14 season ... UTRGV's Javon Levi is the only player in the NCAA averaging at least five assists (5.3), two steals (2.6) and less than two turnovers (1.9) per game ... California Baptist's Milan Acquaah scored a career-high 36 points in a win over preseason favorite NM State to open WAC play ... After UTRGV went down 16 at California Baptist, Tyson Smith scored 18 of his career-high 21 points over the final 24 minutes to secure the victory ... Grand Canyon is 7-0 at home this season and has won 14 consecutive regular-season home games ... CBU picked up the 1,000th victory in the history of the program by defeating La Verne 97-46 on Dec. 29 ... NM State's C.J. Bobbitt scored a career-high 22 points in a win at Colorado State on Dec. 30 ... Seattle U's Myles Carter scored a career-high 26 points and added 13 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season in a win over California on Dec. 29 ... Utah Valley handed Fresno State its first home loss of the season in a 64-60 victory on Dec. 29 and notched its best non-conference mark (11-4) in school history ... UVU'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 ... CSUB'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 ... Grand Canyon's Alessandro Lever scored a career-high 26 points vs. Mississippi Valley State on Dec. 22 ... UTRGV scored 26 points off of 18 turnovers to beat McNeese State 68-64 on Dec. 22 ... 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 (at Fort Wayne and at South Dakota) 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 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 ... 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 ... 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 ... 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
California Baptist leads the WAC in scoring (80.7), free throw percentage (78.4), three-point field goal percentage defense (32.3), rebounding (38.8), defensive rebounds (29.3) and three-pointers per game (9.3), while NM State is tops in scoring defense (67.6), scoring margin (10.4), rebounding defense (30.7), rebounding margin (7.4) and assist-turnover ratio (1.2). Seattle U leads the WAC in field goal percentage defense (40.5), three-point field goal percentage (40.0) and blocks (3.9), while UT Rio Grande Valley is tops in steals (9.8) and turnover margin (5.1). CSU Bakersfield leads the league in offensive rebounds (14.3), Grand Canyon is tops in assists (14.0) and Utah Valley leads the WAC in field goal percentage (48.1).

Individually, California Baptist's Milan Acquaah leads the WAC in scoring (21.6), while Seattle U's Myles Carter is tops in rebounding (8.3) and blocked shots (2.3). Utah Valley's Connor MacDougall leads the league in field goal percentage (67.8), while teammate Jake Toolson is tops in free throw percentage (88.9) and Seattle U's Aaron Nettles leads the WAC in three-point percentage (51.4). Chicago State's Rob Shaw leads the WAC in assists (5.6), UTRGV's Javon Levi is tops in steals (2.6) and Kansas City's Rob Whitfield leads the WAC in three-pointers per game (2.8). CSUB's James Suber is tops in offensive rebounds (3.2), while CBU's Dejon Davis leads the league in defensive rebounds (6.4). Seattle U's Terrell Brown and Morgan Means are tops in assist-turnover ratio (2.7) and minutes per game (34.9), respectively.

In WAC games only, Kansas City leads the league in scoring (82.0), scoring margin (12.0), field goal percentage (50.0) and steals (9.5), while CSUB is tops in rebounding defense (31.5), rebounding margin (7.2) and offensive rebounds (16.3). Grand Canyon leads the league in scoring defense (64.8), rebounding (39.8) and defensive rebounds (28.0), while Chicago State is tops in assists (17.0) and assist-turnover ratio (1.3). NM State leads the WAC in three-point field goal percentage defense (29.6) and three-pointers per game (8.0), while Utah Valley is tops in free throw percentage (83.3) and field goal percentage defense (40.3). CBU leads the WAC in blocks (4.5), Seattle U is tops in three-point field goal percentage (42.9) and UTRGV leads the WAC in turnover margin (6.7).

Individually in WAC games, Chicago State's Anthony Harris leads the league in scoring (20.5) and is tied with Grand Canyon's Trey Drechsel in defensive rebounds (7.5), while teammate Shaw is tops in assists (6.5). CBU's Davis leads the WAC in rebounding (8.3), while teammate  Zach Pirog is tops in blocks (2.8). Kansas City's Jordan Giles and Aleer Leek lead the league in field goal percentage (77.8) and three-point percentage (1.000), respectively. UTRGV's Levi is tops in steals (4.0) and assist-turnover ratio (3.4), while Seattle U's Delante Jones leads the WAC in three-pointers per game (3.0). NM State's Johnny McCants leads the WAC in offensive rebounds (4.0) and Utah Valley's Jake Toolson is tops in minutes per game (36.7)

CBU'S ACQUAAH NAMED TO LOU HENSON MIDSEASON WATCH LIST
California Baptist sophomore guard Milan Acquaah was one of 50 players named to the Lou Henson Award Mid-Season Watch List. The award is presented annually to the nation's top mid-major player in Division I college basketball. Acquaah, a transfer from Washington State, currently leads the WAC and ranks in the top 15 nationally in scoring. The Bakersfield, Calif., native is a two-time WAC Player of the Week and was the Lou Henson National Player of the Week on Dec. 24. He was also named to the Continental Tire Las Vegas Holiday Classic All-Tournament Team. The Lou Henson Award will be presented at the College Insider Awards in April at the site of the Men's Division I National Championship in Minneapolis, Minn.

CSUB'S DURHAM BECOMES WAC'S ALL-TIME THREE-POINT LEADER
In his team's win over Utah Valley on Jan. 5, CSU Bakersfield senior Damiyne Durham drained his 291st career three-pointer to become the WAC all-time leader. Durham surpassed Utah State's Jaycee Carroll (2004-08), who finished his career with 290. Durham now has 295 career long balls, good for fifth in the nation in active career leaders.

EIGHT WAC PLAYERS RANK AMONG NCAA ACTIVE CAREER LEADERS
Eight 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

885

Damiyne Durham

CSU Bakersfield

3FGM

5th

295

Matej Kavas

Seattle U

3FG%

8th

44.7

Damiyne Durham

CSU Bakersfield

FGA

24th

1,290

Damiyne Durham

CSU Bakersfield

Three-pointers/game

24th

2.66

Jake Toolson

Utah Valley

FT%

24th

86.6

Ty Rowell

California Baptist

3FG%

29th

42.6

Eli Chuha

NM State

Double-Doubles

33rd

19

Eli Chuha

NM State

FG%

39th

57.2

Javon Levi

UTRGV

Steals/game

39th

1.73

Rickey Holden

CSU Bakersfield

FT%

47th

83.9

Jordan Heading

California Baptist

3FGA

48th

552

Javon Levi

UTRGV

Assists/game

50th

4.37


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

 
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.