The ACU women’s basketball team dropped both of its games on the road last week. The first came in a 59-80 loss to Stephen F. Austin University, and the second was a four-point nail biter to Northwestern State University.
The Wildcats were hampered by the Ladyjacks with the absence of Whitney West to flu-like symptoms. The sophomore guard is the team’s primary point guard and the leader of the offense, but without her the ‘Cats failed to find a scoring rhythm.
“Without Whitney, we started four players in a different position than they normally play,” head coach Julie Goodenough said. “We had a rough start without Whitney, and it impacted us heavily not having her available to play that day.”
ACU had a dismal day from behind the arc, shooting only 16.6 percent.
Nonetheless, the Wildcats took the court against Northwestern two days later with their point guard and shooting back. The ‘Cats took a four-point lead into the halftime locker room, but the Lady Demons out-scored the ‘Cats 45-31 in the second half and won 76-72. The second half woes were products of first half fouls.
“Early in the second half, Renata [Marquez] and Suzzy Dimba were in foul trouble and spent a huge part of the second half on the bench,” Goodenough said. “That led to some mismatch issues for us, and we got ourselves into a little bit of a hole because two of our starters were sitting on our bench for so long in the second half.”
The defeat marked ACU’s fourth loss in five games, the third of which was only a two-possession margin ballgame.
Freshman Alexis Mason led the Wildcats in scoring with 18, and Marquez still dropped 16 despite the foul trouble. Sydney Shelstead came off the bench with 16 and Suzzy Dimba grabbed 11 boards.
The ‘Cats have fallen below .500 in conference play with a record of 3-4, but still boast a 12-10 overall record. The road has been the toughest challenge for ACU thus far in Div. I, but the team is near perfect at home with an 8-2 record. The Wildcats are home this week where they will look to regain their consistency and stop their slide.