The ACU women’s basketball team started their season with a win Friday night against the Texas Lutheran Bulldogs.
The 111-73 beat down was the most points the ‘Cats had scored in regulation since 1997.
Senior guard Renata Marquez highlighted the ACU stat line with a career high of 30 points. Coach Goodenough praised the leadership of not just Marquez, but Whitney West and Cemetra Jenkins as well.
“I expect them to be our leaders on the court and they did that for us tonight,” she said.
Jenkins said she believes their leadership starts way before game time.
“It starts in practice. How you practice is how you are going to play, so we just go hard in practice and the freshmen do the same,” Jenkins said.
West added 19 points to the Wildcat effort. However, the offensive advantage for ACU was not not so much scoring, but the passing. The team totaled 29 assists in the victory.
“Our players are really looking to share the ball and get the ball in the hands of the players who are open,” Goodenough said.
Chelsea Ngo, a five-foot-five freshman guard, had the play of game with a behind the back crossover that resulted in a three pointer.
The ‘Cat defense had a harder time in the opener, acquiring eight fouls in the first five minutes. Seven of those fouls were a result of the NCAA’s new emphasis on “hand-checks.”
Still, Goodenough’s team managed to simply out-hustle TLU. The players forced 24 turnovers, grabbed numerous offensive rebounds and swarmed every loose ball.
The effort carried over into a win against the Wayland Baptist Flying Queens on Monday night.
West picked up right where Marquez left off, putting in 20 points, but it was West’s fellow sophomore, Jenkins, that stole the show. Coming off the bench in the second half, Jenkins went six for six from the field for 21 points.
“I was very focused. I knew just how they wanted to guard me,” Jenkins said.
While she credits the good game to her knowledge of the opponent and her focus, Goodenough thinks Jenkin’s additional practice time is the cause of her success.
“She is a great testimony to what putting in extra work on your own can do,” Goodenough said.
The ‘Cats will be in action again tomorrow night against Angelo State, a game they have been looking forward to since last year’s loss to the Rams.
“You know Angelo State wants to beat us. It’ll be a good battle,” Goodenough said.