By Michael Freeman, Assistant Sports Editor
A slow start did not stop the women’s basketball team from extending its winning streak to eight games Saturday night. ACU defeated Midwestern State 73-64 in Moody Coliseum. The Wildcats are now 16-9 overall with a 10-2 record in the Lone Star Conference South Division, while the Lady Mustangs fell to 9-16 overall and 3-9 in the conference.
“We had to come out with a lot of intensity,” forward Ashlee Barr said. “We definitely weren’t going to lose to them after we lost to them at their place.”
On Jan. 26, Midwestern State beat ACU 85-63 in Wichita Falls. And on Saturday night, the Lady Mustangs were looking to take the Wildcats down again as they jumped out to an early 18-5 lead.
“The first 10 minutes, I felt like we came out not shooting the ball well and made horrible decisions,” said head coach Shawna Lavender. “The important thing was that we regained our composure.”
After Midwestern State’s first half surge, ACU bounced back to take a 32-29 lead going into halftime. The Wildcats were led by guard Alex Guiton, who finished the game with 19 points. Barr ended the game with 15 points and five rebounds, while guard Kathryn Kundmueller put up 10 points, six rebounds and six assists.
The Lady Mustangs stayed close to the Wildcats coming out of the break, tying the game at 39 with 16:27 remaining. But ACU went on a 28-10 run in the next 10 minutes and held a comfortable double-digit lead until the end of the game.
“We really made them work for their shots,” Lavender said. “Defensively, we played much more physical, more aggressive and just did a much better job at containing their players and not letting them have easy baskets.”
Despite committing seven turnovers in the first three minutes, the Wildcats were finally able to get the ball in the basket, and finished the game shooting 51.9 percent from the field. The Lady Mustangs, on the other hand, only scrounged 34.4 percent of their shots.
“You take a win any way you can get it right now whether it’s ugly or not,” Lavender said.
The win pushed the Wildcats’ winning streak to eight straight games. The last time ACU lost was on Jan. 26 against Midwestern State.
“I try not to think about it,” Lavender said. “But it’s great. The end of the year is the best time to start playing your best ball.”
West Texas A&M has a streak of its own: 44 consecutive home wins. The Wildcats will aim to snap that streak Wednesday in Canyon.
“WT is a big game – probably the biggest game we play all year,” Lavender said. “We’re going in to get first place. WT obviously wants to secure that first place spot, and we want to take it from them. We want to win the conference.Ó