By Jared Fields, Sports Editor
After losing to division leader Tarleton State 83-59 on Thursday, the Wildcats needed a win in Saturday’s game against Midwestern State and they got one.
The 62-52 victory kept the Wildcats just one-game behind Texas Woman’s for the final spot in the LSC Tournament. Texas Woman’s will visit Moody Coliseum on Feb. 25 in the last conference game for both teams.
Trailing 16-4 midway through the first half, the Wildcats came out of a timeout and went on a run of their own. Sophomore Ashlee Barr made a couple of free-throws and junior Lacey Blau hit two shots to quickly cut the Mustang’s lead to six.
“When you look up and see the score you can get down,” Blau said. “You can’t think about the score and freak out; you just have to listen to [coach Lavender] and do what she wants you to do.”
Whatever Lavender said must have worked because the Wildcats fought their way back to take a two-point lead into halftime.
“There wasn’t a whole lot said in the timeout when we were down,” Lavender said. “We just weren’t playing our game, but some girls stepped up a little bit.”
Lavender said two players that stepped up their play in the half were Blau and freshman Kristee Davidson.
“Lacey and Kristee gave us a spark during that run,” Lavender said. “Both gave us something off the bench; it was the energy we needed at the time.”
Blau finished the game with nine points, three rebounds and a steal. Davidson added five points, two rebounds and a block.
In the second half, the Wildcats took the lead and ran with it. At the 9:30 mark, the Mustangs pulled within three points, but the Wildcats rattled off eight straight points to push the lead to 11, a lead they would not relinquish.
Freshman center Audrey Maxwell added another spark to the game. In just her second start, Maxwell pulled down seven rebounds in 14 minutes of play.
“Audrey was great for us on the boards,” Lavender said. Sophomore Alex Guiton led the team with 17 points and four steals. Senior Kierstan Barbee grabbed nine rebounds to lead the team in the category; she also had eight points, two blocks and a steal.
Saturday the Wildcats travel to Portales, N.M. to take on Eastern New Mexico and their 1-9 conference record. The Wildcats need to continue picking up wins to stay in contention for the LSC Postseason Tournament.
“We’ve struggled all year with putting together all 40 minutes of a game,” Lavender said. “It may be five minutes at the first or end, or 10 minutes somewhere in the middle that we don’t play well, but we need to put it all together.”