UTAH VALLEY'S JAKE TOOLSON NAMED WAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Utah Valley junior guard Jake Toolson has been named Western Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Nov. 19-25. This is his first WAC Player of the Week honor of the season and the third of his career.
The Gilbert, Ariz. native averaged 16.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game as the Wolverines went 3-0 last week. Toolson shot 66.7 percent (16-of-24) from the floor, including a blistering 77.8 percent (7-of-9) mark from three-point range and an impressive 90.9 percent (10-of-11) from the free throw line over the three games. He opened the week with 12 points, four rebounds and three assists in a win over Hartford. Toolson then scored 20 points on a perfect 8-of-8 shooting from the field, 2-of-2 from beyond the arc and 2-of-2 from the free throw line in Utah Valley's win over Long Beach State in the championship game of the MGM Main Event in Las Vegas. He also pulled down five rebounds and dished out four assists to help the Wolverines claim the MGM Main Event Middleweight championship belt. Toolson then scored 17 points with six rebounds and two assists in Utah Valley's win over North Dakota on Saturday as the Wolverines extended their home winning streak to 16 games – the fifth-longest active home win streak in the country.
Other nominees included: California Baptist's Milan Acquaah averaged 20.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.3 steals over three games last week ... Damiyne Durham of CSU Bakersfield finished with 22 points on 53.3 percent shooting to go with six rebounds in a loss at USC ... Grand Canyon's Alessandro Lever averaged 14.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists in three games at the Wooden Legacy ... Xavier Bishop of Kansas City averaged 22.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.5 steals on the week ... NM State's Ivan Aurrecoechea finished with 12 points on 66.7 percent shooting and seven rebounds in a win over Eastern New Mexico ... Morgan Means of Seattle U averaged 20.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists as the Redhawks went 3-0 at home last week ... UT Rio Grande Valley's Lesley Varner II averaged 14.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.7 steals and 1.7 assists over three games last week.
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 ... California Baptist sophomore Milan Acquaah was named to the Continental Tire Las Vegas Holiday Classic All-Tournament Team after scoring a CBU career-high 26 points on 10-of-14 shooting against UAPB and adding 24 points and six rebounds against Howard ... Grand Canyon's Alessandro Lever was named to the Wooden Legacy All-Tournament Second Team after averaging 17.7 points and 6.3 rebounds in three games vs. Seton Hall, Utah and La Salle. He recorded the tournament's only double-double vs. La Salle, his first of the season and the third of his career ... UTRGV's Lesley Varner II and Javon Levi both nabbed career highs of five steals against East Carolina on Nov. 19 ... 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 on 8-of-13 shooting against Eastern Washington on Nov. 17 ... CSU Bakersfield's Damiyne Durham was named to the all-tournament team at the Junkanoo Jam after averaging 11.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists ... NM State's AJ Harris exploded for a career-high 31 points on an efficient 9-of-11 shooting night and propelled NM State past New Mexico, 98-94, 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 did it vs. Texas Southern (6-for-6) on Dec. 23, 2009 ... UTRGV's Lesley Varner II posted his second-career double-double and first of the season, scoring 15 points with 10 rebounds, two assists, a career-high three blocks, and two steals against Prairie View A&M on Nov. 14 ... CSU Bakersfield's Ricky Holden did not miss a shot (8-for-8 FGs, 5-for-5 3FGs, 4-for-4 FTs) on the way to a team-high 25 points against Antelope Valley to tie CSUB's Division I record for field goal percentage ... Grand Canyon had 51 rebounds against Delaware State, the third-most ever recorded in Division I play and just the fifth time they've recorded 50-plus rebounds in a game ... UTRGV sophomore Greg Bowie II scored a career-high 19 points in the season-opener against Texas A&M Commerce ... Utah Valley center Baylee Steele pulled down a school-record 19 rebounds at BYU on Nov. 9 ... UTRGV fell to Oklahoma 91-76 in front of a crowd of 5,071, just 578 shy of the program record of 5,649 set on Jan. 24, 1981 vs. Lamar.
WAC STAT LEADERS
NM State leads the WAC in scoring (82.4), scoring margin (11.6), rebounding defense (29.0), rebounding margin (10.4), assist-turnover ratio (1.2) and offensive rebounds (13.0), while Seattle U is tops in field goal percentage (46.6), field goal percentage defense (37.6), blocks (4.1) and defensive rebounds (28.6). Grand Canyon leads the WAC in scoring defense (69.1) and free throw percentage (73.3), while UT Rio Grande Valley is tops in three-point field goal percentage defense (31.1) and turnover margin (4.1). Utah Valley leads the league in three-point field goal percentage (40.8) and assists (14.7), California Baptist is tops in rebounding (39.5) and three-pointers per game (10.0), and Kansas City leads the WAC in steals (9.7).
Individually, California Baptist's Milan Acquaah leads the WAC in scoring (20.0) and steals (2.7), while Utah Valley's Baylee Steele is tops in rebounding (8.7) and offensive rebounds (2.9). NM State's Ivan Aurrecoechea leads the league in field goal percentage (69.0), while Seattle U's Aaron Nettles is tops in three-point percentage (66.7) and Chicago State's Anthony Harris leads the WAC in free throw percentage (85.7). UTRGV's Javon Levi leads the WAC in assists (5.5) and CSU Bakersfield's Damiyne Durham is tops in three-pointers per game (3.6). Seattle U's Myles Carter leads the WAC in blocked shots (3.0), while teammates Terrell Brown and Matej Kavas are tops in assist-turnover ratio (3.8) and defensive rebounds (5.9), respectively. CBU's Jordan Heading leads the WAC in minutes per game (35.8).