The women’s basketball team improved to 3-0 in games after a loss with an 88-72 victory of Southeastern Louisiana.
The win came just two days after the Wildcats lost for the first time since Dec. 2 when they fell to Texas Tech on the road.
“This was a really good win after losing our last game,” junior forward Lizzy Dimba said. “This game was going to be a test for us in terms of how we could handle the adversity of just losing a game, and I thought we showed character and didn’t let the last game have any bearing on this this one.”
Despite coming into the game last in the Southland Conference at 2-7, Southeastern Louisiana mounted a late second half surge to cut the lead to 68-64. Fortunately for the Wildcats junior forward Sydney Shelstead converted a three-pointer to push the lead back to seven and ACU closed the game on a 20-6 run.
“Sydney hit a huge three which was followed by a steal and a layup. That quick five points inspired really good defense the rest of the game,” head coach Julie Goodenough said.
Shelstead finished with 12 points, three rebounds and four assists as all five ACU starters scored in double figures after being held to 54 points as a team the game before.
After opening the game on a 12-2 run and holding a 17 point first quarter lead, it seemed as if the Wildcats were going to run away with another 20-plus point victory. But after ACU extended the lead to 33-13 in the second quarter, Southeastern Louisiana closed the half on a 23-12 run and trailed by just nine heading into the locker room.
Lizzy Dimba paced the Wildcat offense with a career-high 23 points and 12 rebounds, while twin sister Suzzy contributed 12 points and 11 rebounds in a full 40 minutes of play, as each posted their fifth double-double of the season.
“I just had more of a scorers mentality going into this game, and my coaches and teammates told me that I needed to take shots when I was open and not look to pass every time,” Lizzy Dimba said. “I feel like it’s because of them I had my career high.”
Overall Southeaster Louisiana posted a better shooting percentage, but the Wildcats built a huge advantage at the free-throw line where they went 28-41 compared to SELU’s 5-10.
“Our team started the game off well by shooting SELU out of their 2-3 zone,” Goodenough said. “Against their man defense we were aggressive driving and our posts did a great job using post moves. Getting to the free-throw line as much as possible is always a game goal for us.”
With the win ACU improves to 10-1 in conference play and continues to hold the tie breaker over Central Arkansas, whose win streak is up to nine. The Wildcats return home Wednesday for a rematch against Sam Houston State in their annual Play4Kay game.