It took five minutes and 35 seconds for the ACU women’s basketball team to score in its first game of the season.
That scoring drought, combined with untimely turnovers, doomed the Wildcats to a 69-66 loss against St. Mary’s University on Monday night.
“We came out a little tight,” said Head Coach Shawna Lavender. “We didn’t come out with a lot of confidence, and for the most part, we didn’t take great shots. We had good looks at the basket, but our shots were just not there.”
St. Mary’s leapt to a 10-0 lead in the first five minutes, but by halftime, ACU had narrowed the margin to 41-35.
The ‘Cats came out of the locker room on fire in the second half, going on a 15-6 run and grabbing a 50-47 lead with back-to-back baskets by Kat Kundmueller.
The Rattlers didn’t quit, though. An 18-point streak gave them a lead they never relinquished. ACU managed to cut the Rattlers’ lead to one, 67-66, thanks to a layup by Autumn Whitaker with a little more than three minutes left.
“I thought one of the good things we did is when we got down early, we battled back,” Lavender said. “We did a good job executing our offense in the second half. Our girls should have confidence in that.”
That was as close as ACU would get, however. The Wildcats committed 25 turnovers in the game, including two in their last three possessions.
“Most of the turnovers were unforced,” Lavender said. “We made too many soft passes. It was very frustrating to watch because the turnovers were just bad turnovers.”
With 15 seconds left on the clock and a chance to send the game into overtime, Jamie Meyer threw the ball away trying to hit Kundmueller at the top of the key for a game-tying three-pointer.
Jamie Meyer finished with 22 points and eight rebounds, while her sister, Jody, finished with 12 points and nine rebounds. All five St. Mary’s starters finished in double figures; Chastity Noble led with 15 points.
The Wildcats will have another chance against St. Edward’s at 5:30 p.m. Friday in Austin.