By Michael Freeman, Assistant Sports Editor
Last season, the ACU women’s basketball team started its season with seven straight victories. This season, they are off to the same start – only in the opposite direction.
The Wildcats started their season 0-3 after losing their first three road games.
“We still have a lot of the season left,” said head coach Shawna Lavender. “I think the important thing for us is to remain confident and not change the expectations for the goals we set for this year.”
ACU began its season in Austin on Nov. 16 against Incarnate Word. Despite having a six-point lead going into half-time, the Wildcats lost 59-51 after a poor second half shooting performance. ACU’s shooting percentage from beyond the three-point line was only five percent (1-20) for the game. Sophomore forward Jody Meyer posted a double-double in the game with 15 points and 14 rebounds.
ACU tried to rebound on Nov. 20 against St. Edward’s, but this time the Wildcats lost 88-85 in an overtime heartbreaker. Senior guard Alex Guiton led the Wildcats with 26 points, while junior center Audrey Maxwell contributed with 19 points and 10 rebounds. But their efforts were not enough as the St. Edward’s bench outscored ACU’s bench 38-23 in the game.
“We work hard in practice and do the little things,” Lavender said. “But when it comes game time, we forget those things.”
On Nov. 20, the Wildcats played St. Mary’s, but again came up a little short.
With one second remaining in the game, St. Mary’s guard Farron Fox hit a jump shot to give the Rattlers a 66-64 victory. But the loss did have its highlights, namely the Wildcats’ valiant comeback with less than three minutes left in the game. ACU trailed 61-54 with 2:19 in the fourth quarter before Guiton converted a three-point play.
Guiton later hit a pair of free throws with eight seconds left to tie the game at 64-64. Sophomore guard Kelsey Darby posted a career-best performance of 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Guiton had 13 points and sophomore forward Jamie Meyer finished with 11 points.
“For us, it comes down to fundamentals,” Lavender said. “We know we’re good enough to beat those teams and we should beat those teams. But if we don’t do the little things, that’s going to come back to bite you.”
ACU’s latest game was a rematch with Incarnate Word in San Antonio on Tuesday. The results were not available by press time. The Wildcats’ next game will be its home-opener against Northeastern State this Thursday at 6 p.m.
“I’d rather lose the first three games of the year than the last three games,” Lavender said. “We can only get better from here.”