By Brian Roe, Sports Writer
From the beginning of the pre-season to now, the ACU women’s basketball team has had a single mission: to grab one of the four playoff spots from the Lone Star Confer-ence South Division.
ACU won its 17th game of the season Thursday, 58-42 over Texas Woman’s Univer-sity, guaranteeing the Wild-cats a spot in the playoffs for the first time since the 1999-2000 season.
“It means so much for this team to be successful this year during my senior year,” said senior center Melanie Carter. “We didn’t make it to the playoffs my first three years here, but I just knew coming in this year that we were going to do well. The same thing happened in high school; I didn’t make the playoffs until my senior year.”
Senior center Lynsie Blau scored 11 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the victory, while Carter and Kristal Robeson each scored nine to lead the Wildcats.
The Wildcats, now 17-7 overall and 9-2 in the LSC South Division, remain tied for first place with West Texas A&M and Eastern New Mexico.
The teams will be separated, however, next week when the Wildcats host West Texas A&M on Thursday and Eastern New Mexico on Sat-urday.
Head coach Shawna Lavender revealed the secret to her team’s success.
“The key to our team is playing tough defense and just taking care of business on the offensive side,” Lavender said. “We rely on Melanie, but if a team tries to double team her, then we have other shooters that can make the big shots too.”
Lavender said this season the Wildcats tried hard to focus on the present and let the future worry about itself.
“Our goal this year was to just focus on today and take care of business today,” Lavender said. “We wanted to go one game at a time and just try and win today and then worry about tomorrow.”
Only two more games remain on the Wildcats schedule for this season. ACU will host a pair of home games against division rivals West Texas A&M and Eastern New Mexico.
The LSC quarterfinals begin early next month, but Carter said the Wildcats may already have an edge over other teams.
“I think we may have an advantage over other teams because while some of them have been making the playoffs every year this is the first time for this team and we are probably more excited about the opportunity,” Carter said.