By Michael Freeman, Assistant Sports Editor
The Wildcats know when to play. With five games left in the regular season, ACU has strung together its longest winning streak of the season as the Wildcats downed Eastern New Mexico 80-60 on the road Wednesday night. The win improves the Wildcats’ overall record to 13-9 and their conference record to 7-2. Meanwhile, Eastern New Mexico dropped to 4-18 overall and 1-8 in the Lone Star Conference South Division.
“I thought we played pretty well,” said head coach Shawna Lavender. “They played a zone against us most of the game. And we did a good job adjusting to that.”
Center Audrey Maxwell posted her ninth doubledouble of the season against the Zias, as she had 27 points and 11 rebounds to go along with four blocked shots and two steals. Guard Alex Guiton put up 16 points, four rebounds and four assists. Forward Jody Meyer also scored in double-digits with 14 points, and also grabbed seven rebounds.
ACU shot 46.6 percent from the field, while Eastern New Mexico managed to hit only 35.1 percent of its shots. The Wildcats also buried their free throws as they went 17 of 21 from the free throw line.
“It took us a little while to get going,” Lavender said. “But we were able to get good stops. And the girls were able to step up and hit some big shots late in the game.”
ACU started the game by jumping out to a 10-2 lead in the first three minutes.
The Wildcats held onto a comfortable advantage throughout most of the first half. But with 2:23 remaining, the Zias tied the game at 32 after a jump shot by guard Patricia Malouff. Eastern New Mexico stayed within striking distance as ACU went into halftime with a slim 38-35 lead.
The Wildcats came out of the break firing on all cylinders as they took a 52-40 advantage just four minutes into the second period. Eastern New Mexico was able to whittle the lead down to 62-57 by the 6:28 mark, but it was not enough. ACU went on an 18-3 run to close out the
game with a 20-point victory.
“It was a lot closer game than what the score was,” Lavender said. “We went through a spell where we were just taking bad shots. But once we started attacking inside, we got a lot of great looks.”
Next up for the Wildcats is Angelo State on Sunday in Moody Coliseum. Angelo State has a 19-5 overall record with a 6-3 conference mark. ACU lost to the Rambelles earlier this season in a close 74-72 game on Jan. 19 in San Angelo.
“They’re not going to do anything new, and we’re not going to do anything new,” Lavender said. “It’s just a matter of who comes out and executes. And I think our girls will be ready to play. It’s going to be a battle for 40 minutes.”
Sunday’s game is also “Think Pink Night” at Moody Coliseum. “Think Pink” is an initiative to raise breast cancer awareness. Fans who wear pink to Sunday’s game will receive free admission.