The Wildcats Women’s basketball team suffered their first loss of the season Tuesday night as they were unable to catch up to Texas-Permian Basin. ACU let a twelve point lead slip away in the second half and was never able to recover as UT-PB walked out of Moody Coliseum with a 74-71 win.
“We were disappointed with the way the game turned out but we aren’t focusing on the loss,” senior Kelsey Smith said. “We have a couple weeks of practice before our next game, so that’s where our focus is right now.”
Just like in their season opener against Texas A&M International, the game was very close starting off, as neither team was able to establish much of a lead. UT-PB tried to work the ball inside on offense, but the Wildcats defense was impenetrable as they forced bad shots and turnovers. ACU came alive towards the end of the half, pushing the lead to nine and forcing three shot clock violations on defense. The Wildcats went into the locker room with a 38-29 half time lead.
“Both teams came out fighting and ready to play and it was a back and forth battle for a lot of the first half,” Smith said. “In the locker room, we talked a lot about our intensity. We knew we needed to pick up our intensity and the way we do that is with our defense. When we play with that intensity, we are capable of really shutting people’s offenses down.”
UT-PB played like a team possessed in the second half. They became very physical, played lock down defense, and passed the ball around, resulting in easy, wide open shots. With 12:30 to play in the second, they tied the game at 47-47 and never looked back. The Wildcats offense was almost non-existent, as they shot 2-14 from behind the arc in the second half, along with missing 7-18 FT attempts collectively as a team. They also turned the ball over twelve times, which led to an 18-6 UT-PB run and helped give them the momentum and eventual win.
“On any given night we could have a bad shooting game, sometimes shots just aren’t falling for you but that’s when we should turn back to what we can control; our defense, our communication and our intensity,” Smith said. “Mentally having to play catch up is hard but we are much more mentally tough than we showed on Tuesday.”
Smith had a double double in the loss, recording thirteen points and twelve rebounds. UT-PB was led by Taniqua Ards with a game high 21 points on 9-16 shooting. The Wildcats will look to get back on track against Lone Star Conference rival West Texas A&M on Nov. 28.