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This Week in WAC Men's Basketball - Feb. 18

This Week in WAC Men's Basketball - Feb. 18

Complete Release as a PDF

Grand Canyon senior forward Michael Finke has been named Western Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Feb. 11-17. This is his first-ever WAC Player of the Week honor.

The Champaign, Ill., native led the WAC in scoring last week, averaging 29.0 points on 75.8 percent shooting to go with 6.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists as the Lopes went 1-1 on the week. Finke opened the week with a career-best 36 points on 16-of-22 shooting (72.7 percent) from the field in an overtime loss at Kansas City, while also grabbing nine rebounds and tying a career-high with five assists. The 36 points tied the WAC single-game high for scoring this season. Finke followed it up with a game-high 22 points on 9-of-11 shooting (81.8 percent) and four rebounds in a win at Chicago State on Saturday. Finke entered the week averaging 8.8 points on 48.5 percent shooting and 4.6 rebounds per game. His previous high in scoring was 17 points.

Other nominees included: CSU Bakersfield's James Suber averaged 6.5 points and 12.0 rebounds last week ... Rob Whitfield of Kansas City averaged 13.5 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.0 steals as the Roos went 2-0 on the week ... NM State's Trevelin Queen averaged 13.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.5 blocks, 2.0 steals and 1.5 assists as the Aggies extended their win streak to 11 games ... Terrell Brown of Seattle U averaged 17.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 5.5 assists ... UT Rio Grande Valley's Javon Levi averaged 13.0 points, 7.0 assists, 5.0 steals and 3.0 rebounds ... Baylee Steele of Utah Valley averaged 8.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game.

When NM State defeated Seattle U on Feb. 16, it was Chris Jans' 50th victory at the helm making him the fastest head coach to 50 wins in program history. It was also the program's 15th-straight home WAC victory ... Trevelin Queen blocked six shot against Seattle U on Feb. 16, the most by an Aggie since Pascal Siakam had seven against CSUB in 2016 ... Javon Levi nabbed a career-high seven steals on Feb. 14 vs. Seattle U and now leads the NCAA with 84 on the season. His 84 steals are the fifth-most in a season in program history and his 119 career steals rank eighth in program history ... Kansas City outscored Grand Canyon 16-4 in overtime on Feb. 14 to snap a six-game losing skid against the Lopes ... Grand Canyon's Michael Finke scored a career-best 36 points on 16-of-22 shooting vs. UMKC on Feb. 14, while also tying a career-high with five assists ... When California Baptist defeated Chicago State 94-44 on Feb. 7, it was the largest margin of victory in a WAC game in the 57-year history of the league ... 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 ... UTRGV's Levi is one of only four players in the nation averaging 5.0 or more assists and 3.0 ore more steals per game and one of only two players in the nation averaging 5.0 assists, 2.5 steals and less than 2.0 turnovers 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.

California Baptist leads the WAC in scoring (81.0), free throw percentage (78.4), rebounding (38.0), defensive rebounds (28.3) and three-pointers per game (9.7), while NM State is tops in scoring defense (65.6), scoring margin (11.0), rebounding defense (29.3), rebounding margin (8.2) and assist-turnover ratio (1.2). Seattle U leads the WAC in field goal percentage defense (40.9), three-point field goal percentage (38.5) and blocks (3.7), while UT Rio Grande Valley is tops in three-point field goal percentage defense (30.2), steals (9.7) and turnover margin (5.1). CSU Bakersfield leads the WAC in offensive rebounds (14.6), Grand Canyon is tops in assists (14.0) and Utah Valley leads the league in field goal percentage (48.5).

Individually, California Baptist's Milan Acquaah leads the WAC in scoring (20.8), while teammate Dejon Davis is tops in rebounding (8.7) and defensive rebounds (6.3). NM State's Eli Chuha leads the league in field goal percentage (63.8), while Utah Valley's Jake Toolson is tops in both free throw percentage (87.2) and three-point percentage (46.2). UTRGV's Javon Levi leads the WAC in assists (5.6), steals (3.0) and assist-turnover ratio (2.9), while Kansas City's Rob Whitfield is tops in three-pointers per game (2.8). CSUB's James Suber leads the WAC in offensive rebounds (3.3), while Seattle U's Myles Carter is tops in blocked shots (2.0) 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 (64.3), scoring margin (11.0), assists (13.9) and defensive rebounds (26.4), UTRGV is tops in field goal percentage defense (41.6), three-point field goal percentage defense (27.9), steals (9.4) and turnover margin (5.5). CBU leads the WAC in free throw percentage (79.8), blocks (3.8) and three-pointers per game (9.1), while NM State is tops in rebounding defense (29.0), rebounding margin (7.8) and assist-turnover ratio (1.1). Utah Valley leads the league in scoring (76.0), field goal percentage (48.6) and three-point field goal percentage (37.8), while CSUB is tops in rebounding (38.3) and offensive rebounds (15.4).

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 defensive rebounds (5.8), and blocks (2.5), respectively. Utah Valley's Richard Harward leads the league in field goal percentage (62.2), while CSUB's Rickey Holden is tops in free throw percentage (92.5) and UTRGV's Greg Bowie II leads the WAC in three-point percentage (48.8). Levi tops in assists (6.2), steals (3.8) and assist-turnover ratio (3.4), while CSUB's Suber is tops in offensive rebounds (3.5).

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.

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 311 career long balls, good for 10th in the nation in 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. 






Damiyne Durham

CSU Bakersfield

Three-point field goals attempted



Damiyne Durham

CSU Bakersfield

Three-point field goals made



Matej Kavas

Seattle U

Three-point field goal percentage



Javon Levi





Ty Rowell

California Baptist

Three-point field goal percentage



Jake Toolson

Utah Valley

Free throw percentage



Damiyne Durham

CSU Bakersfield

Field goals attempted



Eli Chuha

NM State




Damiyne Durham

CSU Bakersfield




Javon Levi





Eli Chuha

NM State

Field goal percentage



Rickey Holden

CSU Bakersfield

Free throw percentage



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

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.