The ACU women’s basketball team rebounded from losses against North Texas and Grand Canyon to grab a statement win against University of Texas at Arlington before enjoying their Thanksgiving break. The one-day turn around between the UNT and GCU games did not play into the hands of the Wildcats, and it showed in the first half against Grand Canyon.
Head coach Goodenough said, “I feel like we really came out with a lack of focus. Since we played the day before, we didn’t have a lot of time to game plan.”
Despite being outscored by 14 in the first half, the ‘Cats came out of the locker room and outscored GCU 32-31.
“I was really proud of the way we responded in the second half,” Goodenough said.
Nonetheless, ACU was beat on the boards and also in transition. Senior Renata Marquez thinks the problem boils down to poor communication.
“The huge lesson learned is we always have to have communication on the court,” she said. Marquez and the other Wildcats put that lesson to the test against UTA. It must have worked because Marquez scored 26 points in a 79-72 ACU victory.
“What helped me a lot was definitely not overthinking everything. I just let the game come to me and respond to each play,” Marquez said.
Her scoring clinic was coupled with a 19-point game from Whitney West.
The ‘Cats started quickly and never looked back. A 9-0 run out of the gate forced UTA to burn a timeout before the first media break.
The historic win was the team’s first defeat of a Div. I. opponent. The fact that came against Coach Goodenough’s alma mater was just icing on the cake.
“It was a pretty exciting win for me personally. To be able to go back to UTA and have our team perform as well it did, I was really proud of that,” Goodenough said.
The road trip as a whole was positive. A young ACU team closed out a big win, the upper classmen led as they have all season and the freshmen logged valuable minutes in competitive games.
“Our freshmen are gaining more game time experience than any group of freshmen in America,” Goodenough said.
That experience has paid off and will continue to do so as the Wildcats move into the heart of their schedule. As the team finds their identity, these freshmen are finding their confidence, which is proving to be lethal combination.