The Wildcats seven home-game winning streak was snapped Saturday against Southland opponent, Central Arkansas. The Bears gave ACU its first home defeat of the year, 67-54.
During the second game the offense started sluggish. UCA forced 11 turnovers in the first half and generated 17 points off of those turnovers. A 19-3 run by the Bears led to an 11 point deficit for the Wildcats at half time.
The ‘Cats made a push in the second half, cutting the lead to seven with four minutes to play. But, ACU ran out of time and offense.
“I didn’t think that we showed very much mental toughness,” said head coach Julie Goodenough. “Our turnovers in the first half created easy shots for them.”
The stat line shows the Bears played well in the first half. They shot more than 50% from the field and had 18 points in the paint.
Freshman Jessica Elkins said,”Every possession matters, especially when you get to the end of the game with a close score. Those critical turnovers could cost us a game.”
Still, not all of the blame rests on the offensive end. The defense struggled to stop Central Arkansas’ Courtney Duever. She put in 15 points and snagged 14 rebounds. Brianna Mulllins also took advantage of ACU’s poor defense, leading all scorers with 25.
“We didn’t have the defensive intensity to battle against all of the mistakes we were making on the offensive end,” said Goodenough.
The play on both sides of the ball is undoubtedly intertwined. Elkins believes the slow scoring start also goes back to their defense.
“Our offense is fueled by our defense, so in future games I think if we come out with more intensity on defense then our offense will follow,” she said.
The Wildcats were led in scoring by Lizzy Dimba (17) and Renata Marquez (11).
Elkins said, “We have to focus on what we can do better and the mistakes that we can fix, so that in the next game we don’t do the same things wrong.”
ACU will look to rediscover their defensive intensity and their offensive efficiency in time for a nationally televised game against Sam Houston State on ESPN3 this Saturday in Moody Coliseum.