The men’s basketball team continued their building process as they fell to 0-5 after a 71-64 loss to Texas Christian University in Fort Worth on Tuesday night. The Wildcats were close to earning their first win of the season as they were able to battle back from a 14-point deficit, but did not have enough in the tank to finish against the Horned Frogs.
“Obviously, I wished we would have won, but I feel like we got better as a team,” sophomore guard Parker Wentz said. “Our defense allowed us to stay with TCU and kept us in the game.”
The Wildcats were finally able to catch the Horned Frogs with five minutes left to play, tying the game at 58-58. ACU kept pace with TCU, trailing by one with two minutes remaining, but free throws and converted layups tanked the Wildcats’ comeback as they fell behind in the final minutes.
“We wanted to keep fighting and competing and leave it all on the court,” Wentz said. “I feel like our defense helped our offense and made us more comfortable taking shots. Also H [Harrison Hawkins] and LD [LaDarrien Williams] did a great job penetrating and dishing.”
ACU trailed by three going into halftime, 32-29. The Wildcats shot 38 percent for the game but were 9-20 from the three-point line. Wentz led ACU with 14 points on 4-5 shooting from beyond the arc. Junior guard Harrison was one of four Wildcats in double figures with 13 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Sophomore forward Austin Cooke added 12 points and seven boards while junior guard LaDarrien Williams finished with 10 points and two steals. ACU won the rebounding battle 37-33, but were outscored in the paint 34-14. They also committed more than twice as many turnovers, 13-6, as TCU was able to convert 19 points off them.
The Wildcats travel next to San Angelo for the Angelo State Classic. Two games will be on the schedule for ACU as they’ll play against Western New Mexico University today at 5 p.m. WNMU lost its first game of the year to Northern New Mexico, 75-62. After that, ACU will take on Northern New Mexico Saturday at 5 p.m.
“We have to prep for them like we have every other team so far, and that’s been getting ourselves ready to win,” Hawkins said. “We like to think of ourselves as a good three-point shooting team, so hopefully they’ll fall for us in these next few games.”