The ACU women’s basketball team asserted their home dominance once again with a convincing 81-60 win over Texas A&M Commerce at Moody Coliseum for the second annual Christmas Slam. The Wildcats were led by senior Kelsey Smith, who had a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds in the win that gave the Wildcats a 4-1 record (3-0 LSC).
“I am really proud of the way our team has been starting games,” Head Coach Julie Goodenough said. “The team has really been sharing the ball well to keep everyone involved in the scoring effort.”
The team got major contributions from all over the roster, and had four Wildcats reach double figures in scoring. Juniors Mack Lankford and Renata Marquez finished with 13 and 10 points, respectively, while sophomore Sadie Dickinson continued her stellar play with 12 points. ACU finished the game shooting 43 percent from the field, including 25 percent (5-20) from the three-point line. As a team, the Lady ‘Cats also shot 80 percent (32-40) from the charity strike.
“We’re a team that is 11 deep which you don’t see on many teams,” said sophomore Paige Parliament. “If we can keep that job up, then we will be difficult to shut down.”
ACU began the game on a 28-11 run as they were able to drive to the basket and draw fouls that sent them to the free throw line. For the game, ACU shot 40 free throws compared to 25 for Commerce. With 4:24 left in the half, ACU led Commerce 41-17 before giving up a 13-5 run in what turned into a track meet toward the end of the half. Commerce cut the deficit to 16 as the teams went into the break with a score of 46-30.
“Our goal was to be mentally focused for 40 minutes,” said junior Savannah Smith. “Basketball is a game of runs. Even though Commerce had some runs, we as a team were able to stay focused and ‘out run’ our opponent.”
Commerce got terrific defensive play out of their guards and junior Amber Carver had a big night for the Lady Lions as she put up 15 points and secured 19 rebounds (9 offensive) on the night. Despite their effort, Commerce was unable to keep pace with the high flying Wildcats. Big plays from Kelsey Smith and Marquez, along with better defensive awareness were enough to put the nail in the coffin and secure the win for the hometown Wildcats.
“They rely a lot on their offensive rebounding to get easy put-back layups and we tried to keep them out of the paint and away from offensive rebounds,” Kelsey Smith said. “We know that they are an aggressive team and they are also athletic so we looked to them to try to block shots and reach on defense, we just took it to them and took advantage of their style.”
The Wildcats will travel to Stephenville for their next game to take on LSC rival Tarleton State Dec. 8.