By Joel Weckerly, Sports Editor
The ACU basketball team’s troubles on the road continued last weekend as the Wildcats lost Lone Star Conference South Division away games to Eastern New Mexico on Thursday and West Texas A&M on Saturday.
ACU (10-9 overall, 1-3 LSC South) saw its away record sink to 1-6 after the 87-61 loss to the Greyhounds and the 76-61 loss to the Buffaloes.
“We had a tough road trip,” head coach Klint Pleasant said. “When you play on the road in this conference, you have to play flawless, and we certainly didn’t play flawless this weekend. We made too many mistakes early and we just couldn’t get over the hump.”
In the loss to ENMU, the Greyhounds started off 6-for-6 shooting from the floor, while the Cats went 0-for-6 to start.
“It was night and day with Eastern,” Pleasant said. “We had to come from behind, and it was just too little too late.”
The Greyhounds tore ACU apart on the boards, outrebounding the Wildcats 55-34. ENMU’s Travazz Buckley and Jamaal Hunnicutt grabbed 15 and 11 rebounds, respectively, to go along with their 18 and 16 game-leading points.
ACU junior guard David Baxter led the team with 13 points, while senior forward Tucker Pierson added 11 points and five rebounds.
ACU jumped out to a quick 8-3 lead at WTAMU Saturday, but was unable to contain senior LSC South Pre-Season Player of the Year Rod Prater, who scored 27 points, including 11-for-13 shooting from the free throw line.
The Buffaloes connected on 25 of 36 free throws, while the Cats shot 10-for-21.
“The free throws were a telling statistic in that game,” Pleasant said. “I thought we did a good job overall; we just couldn’t keep them off that line.”
ACU hopes to recover from its 3-game LSC South skid Thursday in Moody Coliseum when it plays host to divisional foe Texas A&M-Commerce at 8 p.m. Commerce holds an identical record to ACU’s 10-9, 1-3 mark, and is tied with ACU for second in the South Division.
The Lions center their game around big men Clay Lewkowski (6-9, 232) and Thaddeus Daggett (6-8, 215). Lewkowski leads the team with 15.8 points per game and 6.9 rebounds per game, while Daggett scores 7.4 points per game to go with 7.0 rebounds per game and 26 total blocks.
“We might have our hands full inside with those two,” Pleasant said. “I’m impressed with the way they play down low. But we’re playing in Moody, and we’ve played well at home this year. We need to keep that up.”