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This Week in WAC Men's Basketball - Feb. 12

This Week in WAC Men's Basketball - Feb. 12

Complete Release in PDF

CALIFORNIA BAPTIST'S HEADING NAMED WAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
California Baptist senior guard Jordan Heading has been named Western Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Feb. 4-10. This is his first-ever WAC Player of the Week honor.

The Adelaide, Australia, native led the Lancers to a 2-0 record last week as he averaged 19.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game. He shot 54.2 percent from the field, 50 percent from three-point range and was perfect from the free throw line. On Thursday, Heading finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in 20 minutes of action as the Lancers defeated Chicago State 94-44. The 50-point win was the largest margin of victory in a WAC game in the 57-year history of the league. He then tied a season high with 24 points to go with seven boards against Kansas City on Saturday night. The Lancers were trailing 11-6 eight minutes into the game when Heading took charge, scoring all 13 of his first half points in the last 10:25 to help give CBU a 31-30 halftime lead – a lead CBU would not give up the rest of the night. With just two turnovers over the two games, Heading also led the WAC in assist-turnover ratio (4.5) on the week.

Other nominees included: CSU Bakersfield's Jarkel Joiner averaged 22.5 points and 5.5 rebounds last week ... Michael Finke of Grand Canyon averaged 13.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists over two games ... Kansas City's Rob Whitfield finished with 17 points and two rebounds in a loss at California Baptist ... Eli Chuha of NM State averaged 11.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists in a pair of road wins ...UT Rio Grande Valley's Javon Levi averaged 12.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 4.5 steals as the Vaqueros picked up a pair of huge road wins.

WAC QUICK HITS
UTRGV has a program record four WAC road wins. The last time UTRGV won this many conference road games was 1994-95, going 5-4 on the road in Sun Belt Conference play. UTRGV's first three road wins in WAC play were against the only three teams UTRGV had never previously beaten on the road, California Baptist, Seattle U and Grand Canyon ... When he missed his first free throw attempt against NM State on Feb. 7, CSUB's Rickey Holden had made 29 consecutive free throws dating back to Dec. 20 at Portland State ... UTRGV's Javon Levi is one of two players in the NCAA averaging at least 5.0 assists (5.5), 2.5 steals (2.8) and 2.0 turnovers or less (2.0) per game ... Grand Canyon dropped its first two home games on Feb. 7 to UTRGV and Feb. 9 to NM State, snapping a nine-game home winning streak ... UTRGV defeated Chicago State 77-46 on Jan. 31. The 31-point margin of victory was UTRGV's largest margin of victory ever in a conference game ... Grand Canyon's Carlos Johnson scored a team-best 20 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the field and hit 10-of-11 free throws in just 23 minutes of action as GCU handed CSU Bakersfield its first home loss of the 2018-19 season on Feb. 2 ... UTRGV had 11 three-pointers against both UMKC and Chicago State and it was the first time UTRGV has reached double figures in three-pointers in back-to-back WAC games since joining the league in 2013 ... CSU Bakersfield's Jarkel Joiner set the program single-game Division I records for points (34) and field goals made (14) against California Baptist on Jan. 24 ... GCU's Johnson scored a career-high 26 points in just 18 minutes at California Baptist on Jan. 26, scoring 18 consecutive points for the Lopes in the second half, including 12 unanswered points to break the game open ... Kansas City's Xavier Bishop, who finished with 22 points, scored six-straight points late in the second half against Seattle U on Jan. 26 after his team led by just one and ignited a game-ending 11-3 scoring run to seal the victory ...NM State's ended Utah Valley's 22-game home win streak, the second-best active home win streak in the nation, when it defeated the Wolverines on Jan. 19 ... Down 53-49 with seven minutes left on Jan. 19, UTRGV used a 10-0 run to beat Seattle U 67-62 for its first-ever victory at Seattle U in six tries ... Seattle U's Myles Carter posted career highs of 28 points and 15 rebounds against UTRGV on Jan. 19 ... Utah Valley's Jake Toolson tied the school record for consecutive free throws made with 41 before missing one against the Aggies on Jan. 19 ... On Jan. 17, CSUB's Joiner was fouled on the last shot of the game with CSUB trailing UMKC by two points and sank all three free throws to clinch the victory ... After UTRGV went down 16 at California Baptist on Jan. 5, Tyson Smith scored 18 of his career-high 21 points over the final 24 minutes to secure the victory ... CBU's Milan Acquaah scored a career-high 36 points in a win over preseason favorite NM State on Jan. 3 ... 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 ... 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 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 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 from Nov. 29-Dec. 6 ... 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 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
NM State leads the WAC in scoring defense (65.7), scoring margin (11.4), rebounding (37.8), rebounding defense (29.3), rebounding margin (8.5) and assist-turnover ratio (1.2), while California Baptist is tops in scoring (79.6), free throw percentage (78.3), defensive rebounds (28.0) and three-pointers per game (9.5). Seattle U leads the WAC in field goal percentage defense (41.1), three-point field goal percentage (39.5) and blocks (3.9), while UT Rio Grande Valley is tops in three-point field goal percentage defense (30.4), steals (9.6) and turnover margin (4.9). CSU Bakersfield leads the WAC in offensive rebounds (14.6), Grand Canyon is tops in assists (13.9) and Utah Valley leads the league in field goal percentage (48.8).

Individually, California Baptist's Milan Acquaah leads the WAC in scoring (21.2), while teammate Dejon Davis is tops in rebounding (8.5) and defensive rebounds (6.2). NM State's Eli Chuha leads the league in field goal percentage (65.8), while Utah Valley's Jake Toolson is tops in both free throw percentage (87.5) and three-point percentage (47.3). UTRGV's Javon Levi leads the WAC in assists (5.5), steals (2.8) and assist-turnover ratio (2.8), while Kansas City's Rob Whitfield is tops in three-pointers per game (2.7). CSUB's James Suber leads the WAC in offensive rebounds (3.3), while Seattle U's Myles Carter is tops in blocked shots (2.2) and teammate Morgan Means leads the WAC in minutes per game (34.6).

In WAC games only, Grand Canyon leads the league in scoring defense (62.6), scoring margin (11.3), field goal percentage defense (41.3), assists (13.7) and defensive rebounds (26.1), while CBU is tops in scoring (75.9), free throw percentage (79.8), blocks (3.8) and three-pointers per game (9.1). NM State leads the league in rebounding defense (29.0), rebounding margin (8.4) and assist-turnover ratio (1.1), while UTRGV is tops in three-point field goal percentage defense (28.1), steals (9.0) and turnover margin (5.2). CSU Bakersfield leads the league in rebounding (38.4) and offensive rebounds (15.6), Seattle U is tops in three-point field goal percentage (39.5) and Utah Valley leads the WAC in field goal percentage (49.9).

Individually in WAC games, Acquaah leads the league in scoring (20.0), three-pointers per game (2.4)and minutes per game (35.4), while teammates Davis and Zach Pirog are tops in rebounding (8.7) and blocks (2.5), respectively. NM State's Johnny McCants leads the league in field goal percentage (65.2), while CSUB's Rickey Holden is tops in free throw percentage (93.8) and Seattle U's Ian Burke leads the WAC in three-point percentage (53.8). Levi tops in assists (6.0), steals (3.6) and assist-turnover ratio (3.0), while CSUB's Suber is tops in offensive rebounds (3.4) and GCU's Trey Drechsel is tops in defensive rebounds (6.1).

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 308 career long balls, good for ninth in the nation in active career leaders.

SEVEN WAC PLAYERS RANK AMONG NCAA ACTIVE CAREER LEADERS
Seven 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

Three-point field goals attempted

4th

932

Damiyne Durham

CSU Bakersfield

Three-point field goals made

9th

308

Matej Kavas

Seattle U

Three-point field goal percentage

9th

44.7

Javon Levi

UTRGV

Steals/game

18th

1.95

Jake Toolson

Utah Valley

Free throw percentage

27th

86.3

Damiyne Durham

CSU Bakersfield

Field goals attempted

28th

1,361

Eli Chuha

NM State

Double-Doubles

32nd

21

Damiyne Durham

CSU Bakersfield

Three-pointers/game

32nd

2.61

Ty Rowell

California Baptist

Three-point field goal percentage

33rd

42.2

Javon Levi

UTRGV

Assists/game

41st

4.59

Eli Chuha

NM State

Field goal percentage

44th

57.8

Rickey Holden

CSU Bakersfield

Free throw percentage

45th

84.7


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