The Wildcats losing streak finally ended this weekend as the Wildcats rallied for the win late in the second half, fighting for the 69-57 win over Texas Women’s.
“I was extremely proud of the way our girls played on Saturday,” head coach Shawna Lavender said.
The ‘Cats, desperate to place high enough to attend the LSC post-season tournament, were faced with a game in which a win was critical.
ACU went into this game with a 2-9 conference record, putting them ninth in the polls. Only the top eight teams get a chance to play in the LSC tournament, and at this point in the season, the Wildcats are playing like they have nothing to lose.
But the ‘Cats didn’t seem to have any problems taking care of the Pioneers, leading the defending league champions nearly the entire game.
Halfway through the second half, the Wildcats had a 48-43 lead, but that wasn’t enough to keep TWU from coming back to tie the score 48-48.
But with just over 7:00 to go in the contest, ACU took control of the game, crushing their opponentsÂ 21-9.
Kelsey Smith caught fire, scoring a game-high of 21 points, 19 of which were in the second half. The junior forward quickly shifted the momentum in the ‘Cats favor.
“I felt like we executed very well both offensively and defensively,” Coach Lavender said. “We played with a lot of emotion and stayed in the game for 40 minutes.”
Smith finished with 21 total points and 14 rebounds for her third double-double of the season, and ninth of her career at Abilene Christian. Mack Lankford, sophomore guard, finished with 16 points, four assists, one block and three steals.
This win improved the Wildcats conference record to 3-9, andÂ furtherÂ encouragesÂ the team as they look forward to playing Midwestern State this Tuesday.
“Right now we are just taking it one game at a time and we are hoping to build off the momentum from our win on Saturday,” Lavender said. “Midwestern is a very solid team, but we feel like we match up well with them. The key for us will be to play for 40 minutes and execute on both ends of the floor.”
The Wildcats will return to action Tuesday night against the Mustangs in Moody Coliseum. Tip off at 5:30 p.m.