By Joel Weckerly, Sports Editor
The women’s basketball team moved to 3-4 on the season after splitting a pair of games in last weekend’s West Texas A&M 7-Up Classic.
The Wildcats, who are now in seventh place out of eight teams in the Lone Star Confer-ence South Division, fell to St. Mary’s 75-62 in their opening round game Friday, but bounced back in a big way Saturday by pounding Pan-handle State 105-55.
“We had a tough one against St. Mary’s,” head coach Wayne Williams said. “We fought hard but we didn’t get it done against them. On Sat-urday I thought we played with a lot more intensity. We rebounded from the loss pretty well.”
ACU competed in the tournament without its usual starting lineup. Senior guard Jodi Hellums did not play and sophomore forward Stephanie Riles did not start for the team because of sickness. Williams said Riles, the team’s leading scorer with 12.7 points a game, played about eight or nine minutes in each game. She scored five points against St. Mary’s and eight against Panhandle State.
“Taking those two out of the lineup kind of hurt us,” Williams said.
Freshman guard Ashley King and junior center Melanie Carter led the way for ACU in Friday’s loss, scoring 16 and 15 points, respectively. On Sat-urday, junior post Lynsie Blau paced the Cats with 22 points, while King dropped 16 and junior guard Leah Wilson added 14 points in the 50-point victory.
King and Blau joined eight other players named to the all-tournament team following the games. West Texas A&M’s Celeste Stevenson was named the tournament’s most valuable player.
The Wildcats will continue their road trip with a LSC crossover matchup against Central Oklahoma 6 p.m. Thursday. The Bronchos are 3-2 and tied for fourth place in the LSC North Division. They knocked off St. Edward’s 69-63 Saturday at home.
“They don’t have a lot of size but they can shoot the lights out,” Williams said of UCO. “Our defense will be really important for us.
“It’s a tough road trip we’re taking, with long distances and solid teams,” Williams said. “We’re really trying to play well here in these last few games before Christmas break.”
ACU also plays a 2 p.m. game on Saturday at North-eastern State in Tahlequah, Okla.