On Wednesday, the men’s basketball team was unable to overcome a thirteen point halftime deficit and lost to rival West Texas A&M 57-49.
The Wildcats were stymied offensively all game long, shooting only thirty-five percent from the field and forty percent from the charity stripe.
With the ‘Cats unable to get anything done on the offensive end, they would need their defense to be nearly perfect to pull the upset on the road. Despite a dominating defensive performance in the second half, ACU was unable to muster enough offense to ever take control of the game.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get much going offensively.” Senior Ben Warton said. “I thought we had some good open looks we just couldn’t connect.”
West Texas A&M nearly lost control with two minutes left when ACU’s freshman forward Da-Juan Cooper made two free throws in a row and cut the Buffalo lead to only five points before West Texas A&M went on a 6-0 run to finish off the Wildcats.
For the first time all year, ACU did not have a single player in double figures because the Buffalo defense was too dominant for even the best scorers for ACU to get going.
Despite having trouble on the offensive end, the Wildcat defense played extraordinarily well in the second half, limiting their rivals to only twenty-three points.
We played pretty well defensively.” Warton said. “Anytime you can hold a team to under sixty points your going to put yourself in a position to win.”
The ACU defense was able to force sixteen turnovers along with their eight steals. The Wildcats were also relentless on the offensive glass, snatching seventeen rebounds that allowed them to have crucial second shots.
With this loss, the Wildcats drop to ninth place in the LoneStar Conference. The top eight teams qualify for the LoneStar Conference tournament, so ACU will need to play well in their last five games in order to get into the post season for the first time since 2008.
‘We are very confident we can make (the tournament.)” Junior Kendall Durant said. “But we realize that we have to come out ready to play from here on out. Its do or die, but we know we are going to make it. We never quit.”
As march quickly approaches, each game down the stretch is crucial for the ‘Cats if they want to make up ground in the LSC standings. ACU will be back in action Saturday in Moody Coliseum against the Eastern New Mexico University Greyhounds at 4 p.m.