The men’s basketball team will continue their home stand in Abilene Saturday against the University of Central Arkansas. Tipoff is scheduled for 3 p.m., after the conclusion of the women’s game at 1 p.m.
The Wildcats enter the game with a 6-10 record, and a 0-2 conference record, before their game against Oral Roberts. They have been perfect at home with a 4-0 record at Moody Coliseum. Junior guards Harrison Hawkins and LaDarrien Williams lead ACU in scoring with 12.3 points per contest.
“Both those guys have the mindset to get into the paint, get knocked around and get either a good shot or free throw attempts,” head coach Joe Golding said. “When we get guys that play like that on a consistent basis, where they play smart, efficient ball, we can be tough to beat.”
Sophomore guard Parker Wentz has averaged slightly less than 10 points a game, with 9.9 in all 16 games for the Wildcats and leads the team in three-point shooting percentage with 43 percent. Sophomore forward Austin Cooke from Scottsdale, Ariz. leads the team in rebounding with 6.2 boards a game.
Central Arkansas owns a 4-11 overall and 1-3 Southland conference record. The Bears are led in scoring by senior guard Miles LaQuentin with 23.3 a game and in rebounding with 7.7 boards in only six games so far. Senior guard DeShone McClure is second with 14.5 points per games and a field goal percentage of 48 percent.
So far this year the Wildcats are scoring 69.8 points per game, while giving up 70.9. They are shooting 41 percent from the field, 35 percent from beyond the three point line and 72 percent from the free throw line. Golding believes his team has to do a better job on the defensive side of the ball.
“We have got to be able to slow people down at times and we have to be able to get stops on the defensive end, and we’re getting closer to getting everyone bought in on what we’re trying to do,” Golding said.
UCA scores an average of 76.6 points per contest, but they give up 82.6 points to their opponents. As a team, they are shooting 44 percent from the field, just 38 percent from three and a dismal 60 percent from the charity strike.
The Bears come into the game against the Wildcats after losing two straight to Oral Roberts and Incarnate Word who holds a 13-2 record. UCA has lost five of their last seven, and head back home after their meeting with ACU.
The Wildcats won four straight during their last home stand before traveling to Louisiana and losing their first two Southland conference games.
“[Southland Conference] is a tough league with a lot of great players, great coaches, and we’re just trying to stay competitive and give ourselves a chance late in each game to get the win,” Golding said.
After UCA, the Wildcats will prepare for the next two games at home against Lamar University and Sam Houston State on Thursday and next Saturday.