A crucial win Tuesday night put the Wildcats in an excellent position entering the second half of their conference play.
In a back and forth game, the ‘Cats, led by point guard Kat Kundmueller, emerged victorious against a talented Texas A&M-Kingsville team, 59-55.
“We attacked well, and on defense we made some big stops,” said Head Coach Shawna Lavender. “We held them to only one shot per possession down the stretch, and that was critical.”
The Wildcat defense came up huge against the best offensive team in the LSC. Entering the game, the Javelinas were averaging 81 points a game and shooting 46.4 percent from the field. Against the Wildcats, however, Kingsville was able to manage only 55 points on just 32.8 percent shooting, their second-lowest totals of the season. The Wildcat D also forced 14 turnovers.
The ACU offense played some of its best basketball of the season in the last five minutes. Jamie and Jody Meyer dominated the paint, each posting double digits in points.
With the game tied at 41 and just less than six minutes left to play, the Wildcats went on a 10-2 run to put the game at 51-43. When the Javelinas resorted to fouling to extend the game, the ‘Cats were automatic from the free throw line, hitting all six of their attempts.
“We did a thing on mental toughness in practice at the beginning of the year called icebox training, and it focused a lot on pressure free throws,” Lavender said.
Kundmueller continued to prove herself as one of the best point guards in the conference. Although she didn’t score, she grabbed seven rebounds, had seven assists to only two turnovers and posted two steals.
“She knows when it’s time to make big plays,” Lavender said. “She pushed the ball at the right time and pulled it back at the right time. She really made sure we played smart basketball.”
The Wildcats will need to play smart in their next game, as well, when they travel to Kingsville to take on the Javelinas for the second time.