By Brian Roe, Sports Writer
ACU flung itself up the standings and into a three-way tie for first place in the Lone Star Conference South Division with a 55-53 victory over nationally ranked Angelo State in San Angelo Tuesday.
Led by senior centers Melanie Carter and Lynsie Blau, the Wildcats pushed their record to 14-7 overall and 6-2 in the LSC South Division.
Carter made a pair of free throws with 2.5 seconds left in the game to give ACU the victory. Carter led the Wildcats with 17 points and also added nine rebounds.
Blau also played a stellar, well-rounded game, scoring 11 points, grabbing 13 rebounds, blocking five shots and dishing out seven assists.
“Lynsie did a great job on offense and she led our defense too,” said head coach Shawna Lavender. “It’s rare to find good passing centers and we have two of them. We have some great shooters and were able to kick the ball out to the perimeter and take advantage.”
After the Wildcats took an early 10-8 lead in the first half, they never looked back and never lost the lead again. Lavender credits the victory to defense.
“We played great defense and that won the game for us,” she said. “We shut down their perimeter and it was a crazy game but we did a great job on defense and that was the difference.”
Lavender, who is 20-7 since taking over last season as head coach, said her team’s mentality is the biggest reason for the turnaround.
“The team is more focused this year,” Lavender said. “They are more focused on defense and they are more focused on the team. If one person has a great night individually but the team loses, then everyone is upset. If one person has a terrible night but the team wins then everyone is happy.”
The team chemistry even led to a 100-point breakout against Texas A&M-Commerce last week. Lavender said it was the first time the women’s team exceeded the century mark since 1998.
The team will look to continue its LSC South Division success on the road Saturday at 2 p.m. against Texas A&M-Kingsville.
“They have some talented players but we just have to play our game and take advantage of our size advantage.”