The men’s basketball team took on the Texas A&M Commerce Lions Wednesday in hopes of separating themselves from the other LSC teams in search of a playoff birth. However, the Wildcats were unable to attain a win on senior night, and ended up losing 75-72.
Despite playing well on the offensive end the entire night, the Wildcats were unable to overcome an onslaught of Lion free throws.
Texas A&M Commerce shot thirty-nine times from the charity stripe, which gave them the ability to fight off several ACU runs late in the game.
“Free throws were really a big key,” senior Ben Warton said. “Anytime a team shoots twenty more free throws than you do, it’s hard to overcome.”
The Wildcats seemed to outplay Texas A&M Commerce the entire game.
ACU shot over 40 percent from behind the arc, and nearly 45 percent from the field to go along with their outstanding defensive effort that kept them in the game.
“We all left it on the court tonight,” Warton said. “We forced them into a lot of bad turnovers, we forced 25 turnovers out there. We definitely gave it our all and played well tonight.”
Junior Antonio Bell kept the ‘Cats in the game in the second half, hitting five three-pointers on his way to a game high 23 points. Kendall Durant also finished in double figures with 12 points.
“I just came out in the second half aggressive looking for my shot,” Bell said. “I hit one three early in the first half and I knew I was going to have it going, and it felt good every time I let it go.”
The Wildcats were coming off of a 80-70 win against Texas Kingsville that kept them in a tie for the last spot in the LSC tournament. The Wildcats were able to stay in the hunt for the last LSC playoff birth by protecting their home court.
Their win against Kingsville coupled with their loss against the Lions put them in a win-and-in situation on Saturday night against LoneStar Conference juggernaut Tarleton State.
“Coach Golding told us the first meeting we had at the beginning of the year, something is going to be on the line Feb. 28 when we play Tarleton,” Warton said.
“That’s how we wanted it. We didn’t want to have to count on someone else losing to get us in. We have a chance to play our way in, and what better way is there to [make the tournament] than beating Tarleton on the road.”