The women’s basketball team will get a brief break from the Southland Conference when it faces Arlington Baptist College on Tuesday. The game marks the first non-conference match-up since Jan. 4 and the first non-Div. I opponent since Dec. 17. The Arlington Baptist Patriots are a Div. II team from the National Christian College Athletics Association.
The Wildcats are coming off a 73-67 win over Incarnate Word on ESPN3. The team was down by nine with 10 minutes left to play, as ACU came roaring back to get the much-needed road win. Freshman guard Lizzy Dimba had a career night with 21 points on 9-11 field goal shooting. Senior forward Renata Marquez put in 14 points, nine rebounds and three assists. Freshman forward Suzzy Dimba added eight points on a rough 3-11 shooting night, but added 14 rebounds for the Wildcats.
That game pushes the purple and white to an even, 5-5 conference record. The ‘Cats managed to exorcise some old demons Thursday night after dropping multiple close games. The team was able to close out at the end of the halves, win the battle inside and take advantage of free-throw opportunities. The win is proof that despite nine freshmen and the transition to Div. I, ACU is still overachieving this year.
The Wildcats will play a seemingly easier opponent than they have seen in months in the Patriots, but head coach Julie Goodenough does not intend on taking anything for granted.
“We just have to focus for 40 minutes. We have to have more focus,” Goodenough said. “You just can’t take possessions off. We have proven that we can be in all of these game, but we have to stay focused.”
Little is known about Arlington Baptist because this will be the first time ACU has gone up against them. Goodenough has preached time and time again that the team needs to be worried only about themselves.
The Wildcats have proven that when they play their style of basketball, they are tough to beat. Physicality on the boards, quickness in transition and fundamental defense are the backbone of this team and something that fans should see a lot of against Arlington Baptist.
Still, Goodenough’s players are looking for more of a complete game from themselves than they have been showing the past few weeks. The Wildcats are 3-5 over their last eight games, with close losses coming against Lamar, 83-85, Northwestern, 72-76 and Texas A&M Corpus Christi, 71-74.
“We have to execute the game plan better,” freshman guard Alexis Mason said. “We have done a good job of doing certain things right but have let other things go.”
That means focusing on details and closing the game strongly.
“You never know when one block out or one free throw can determine a game,” Goodenough said.