The men’s basketball team traveled to Dallas to make their season debut against the Dallas Baptist Patriots but were unable to overcome a large first half deficit and lost 79-72.
The Wildcats got off to a hot start, lead by transfer Eric Lawton, who was dialing it up from long range. Lawton finished with a game-high 23 points, including three makes from behind the arc.
Elliot Lloyd and Parker Wentz also finished the game in double figures with 16 and 13 points respectively.
“Our offense brings a lot to the table,” guard T.J. Brown said. “With four guards, you can get up and down the court and create mismatches for other teams.”
But the Wildcats entered halftime down by double digits. In the second half, ACU was able to come back and narrow the gap, scoring 43 points before running out of time.
“We let them come back and get on a run, and got in some foul trouble,” head coach Joe Golding said. “We had a lot of adversity in that first half, but looking towards the future I think that will be a good thing for us.”
The Wildcats only returning player is Desmond Woodberry, so the ‘Cats are still working on integrating the eleven new faces into a four guard offense that can make it tough to rebound.
“I want to guard the ball better, play better team defense, and rebound better,” Golding said. “I don’t think offense will be a problem for us at all this year.”
Woodberry pulled down 10 rebounds to go along with his five assists in his return to the court after a medical redshirt last season.
The Wildcats will have the rest of the week off before they play in their home opener Friday night in Moody Coliseum as part of the annual Whitten Inn Classic.
“I think this team will continue to get even better,” Golding said. “I really like this group. I think this group will be a lot of fun, I think it is a group that the ACU community will embrace, and we have a chance to have a really good team.”