By Joshua Parrott, Sports Writer
With only two regular season games remaining, junior guard Rodney Lee hopes to change the fortunes of the men’s basketball team.
Lee said the Wildcats, now 13-12 overall and 4-7 in Lone Star Conference South Division play, need to maintain focus for Thursday’s non-conference game against Panhandle State and Saturday’s LSC South match-up against Midwestern State.
“It’s frustrating to lose any game, but at the same time you can’t really worry about the winning and losing,” said Lee, who scored a game-high 24 points Saturday in a 87-74 loss at Eastern New Mexico. “We just have to play hard, and we’ll win out.”
Moody Coliseum is the site for both games this week with Thursday’s game to start at 8 p.m. and Saturday’s at 6 p.m.
ACU, who has lost its last four conference road games, will clinch fourth place in the LSC post-season tournament if Midwestern State loses Thursday to Angelo State and Saturday to ACU, and Texas A&M-Kingsville loses one of its two remaining games.
The Wildcats lost to Panhandle State, 81-58, in a Nov. 30 game in Goodwell, Okla. The Aggies, 13-11 overall, are led by 6-foot-2 junior guard Kenneth Barrett and 6-foot-7 junior forward Andrew Harlie.
Barrett leads the team in scoring at nearly 17 points per game. Harlie is second on the team at more than 14 points a night. Six-foot senior guard Joe Bakhoum is averaging more than six assists a game for the Aggies.
Junior forward Tucker Pierson said Thursday’s game against the Aggies is key for preparing for Midwestern State.
“I think that game [against Panhandle] is pretty important because if we play well it will translate over,” said Pierson, who ranks second in the LSC in rebounding at nearly nine a contest. “There’s some revenge factor against Panhandle, but we’re not worried that we have to win. We know we can win that game.”
Midwestern State, 8-17 overall, 3-7 in LSC South Division play, is led by 6-foot junior guard Marquette Wilkins, who is averaging nearly 19 points a game this season, including more than 22 in LSC contests. Six-foot-4 junior transfer Jovani Allen played his prep ball at Southwest High School in Fort Worth, Lee’s alma mater.
Pierson said getting the Wildcats to play as a team was the most important thing.
“If you look at the games we lost only one or two guys played well. In the games we won, everybody was playing together and playing well.”