By Daniel Johnson, Sports Editor
Playing at home appears to offer the ACU men’s basketball team little advantage.
After losing two of its last three Lone Star Conference divisional match ups at home, the Wildcats’ face a Midwestern State team that knows how to win on the road.
“We just got to make sure we’re ready for them from the start,” said head coach Jason Copeland.
Midwestern has won every divisional road game it has played, including a 72-59 victory over Tarleton State on Monday. The win broke Tarleton’s 33-game home-court winning streak and put Midwestern on top of the LSC South with a record of 3-1. Midwestern is 5-2 on the road and has an overall record of 14-4.
Midwestern guard Chad Rickett, who was named LSC South Player of the Week, led the Mustangs in scoring with 23 points. Rickett averages 17.2 points-per-game and has a field goal percentage of .528.
Copeland said good transition defense on the Wildcats’ part will be essential to shutting Rickett down.
“We got to get back in transition and not let him get any easy baskets,” Copeland said.
Although Rickett is the Mustangs leading scorer, he is not the only offensive weapon Midwestern has on its roster.
Two Mustangs average more than 15 points-per-game: Center Eric Dawson (16.9) and guard Drew Coffman (15.8).
“They’re as talented as anyone we’ve played all year,” Copeland said.
ACU is 1-3 in conference and 10-8 overall after losing 85-74 to Texas A&M Kingsville on Saturday.
A lack of second chances and failure to protect the paint made the difference in the Wildcats’ loss.
Although Kingsville lost by more than 20 points to Angelo State – a team ACU beat by 16 points – Kingsville outshined the Wildcats leading throughout the game by as much as 21 points.
“I knew they were good,” Copeland said.
Kingsville was good in the paint, outscoring the Wildcats 54-14 and out-rebounding ACU 40-30.
The Wildcats turned the ball over 26 times in the loss, and Kingsville outscored the Wildcats in second-chance points 20-1.
“We just got outplayed plain and simple,” forward Cameron Holson said.
Holson led the Wildcats with six defensive boards and four steals.