By Joel Weckerly, Sports Editor
The men’s basketball team plays the second game of a crucial two-game homestand this weekend when it takes on Lone Star Conference South opponent Texas A&M-Kingsville.
As of Thursday, the Javelinas were third in the LSC South with a 3-2 mark (12-8 overall) while the Wildcats were in fifth place with a 1-3 divisional mark and a 10-9 overall record.
The game is an important one for ACU, which will likely need to win the majority of its divisional games to make the top four LSC South spots and make the LSC Post-Season Tournament. The Wildcats, who begin a four-game road trip following Saturday’s game, have had better success at home this season; boasting a 9-3 Moody record compared to a paltry 1-6 mark on the road.
“We’re looking forward to getting back to Moody,” head coach Klint Pleasant said. “Everybody on the team appreciates having the crowd behind them.”
Interestingly enough, the game will pit the top field-goal shooting team in the conference against the top field-goal defending team. Kingsville’s 49.6 percent shooting from the floor leads the entire LSC, while ACU opponents’ 40.1 percent is the conference’s lowest.
Two Javelina starters rank among the top 10 in conference scoring. Junior forward/center Robert Hamilton is third in the LSC with 18.3 points per game, while senior guard William Brown is ninth with 15.6 points a contest.
“They’re a well-rounded team,” Pleasant said. “They’re good from the inside and the outside and they defend the ball well in the half-court.”
Still, Pleasant said he’s optimistic about the game after a week of intense practice.
“We had probably the best practice we’ve had in a year on Tuesday,” he said. “I’d like to see a lot of passion and energy on Saturday. We’ve got a chance to be right in the hunt of the South Division after this weekend, and I hope our play backs that up.”
Saturday’s 4 p.m. tip-off follows the women’s game at 2 p.m.