By Joshua Parrott, Sports Writer
Missed shots. Busted lips. Lost opportunities.
Those three descriptions offer the best rationale for the men’s basketball team’s blowing of an early second-half lead Saturday night against West Texas A&M, losing to the Buf-faloes 79-63 in Moody Coli-seum.
The Wildcats hit the road for a Lone Star Con-ference South Division rematch at Angelo State Tuesday night, but results were unavailable at press time.
Head Coach Klint Pleasant said his team played hard against WTAM, which went on a 23-2 run late in the game, but just didn’t put the ball in the basket.
“We didn’t shoot real well,” said Pleasant, whose team hit only one of 10 shots during a stretch in the second half. “We got good looks and ran our stuff, but we struggled making shots. We haven’t done that all year.”
ACU, which with the loss fall to 9-8 overall and 0-3 in division play, trailed by five at halftime but reeled off a 9-5 run over a two-minute span early in the second half to take a four-point lead with about 15 minutes to play. The Buffaloes then took control of the game behind the play of junior guard Rod Prater, who scored four of his team-high 21 in a five-minute spurt in the second half, handing the Wildcats their fifth straight loss (fourth straight at home).
Junior guard Rodney Lee, who is second in the LSC in scoring with 20 points per game, scored 24 points for the Wildcats against WTAM, while junior forward Tucker Pierson, who ranks second in the LSC in rebounding, added 18 points and five rebounds in a losing effort.
Pleasant is looking ahead to Thursday night’s LSC South Division game at Midwestern State, who is 6-11 overall, 1-1 in LSC South play entering this week.
“We’re on a little losing streak and now we have to go on the road,” Pleasant said. “We have been pretty good on the road. We have to stay focused and stick to our game plan.”
Lee said the coaches have told the players that losing streaks aren’t uncommon during a long season.
“Coach Pleasant said that teams will get in ruts like that,” Lee said. “Lo-sing is frustrating, but you know conference is going to be hard. You have to learn to play harder.”
After Thursday night’s game at Midwestern, the Wildcats play three straight road games, including a Feb. 6 game against South Division leader Texas A&M-Commerce.