The men’s basketball team welcomed ACU students back to Moody Coliseum by putting on a show, beating Southwestern Adventist 83-48 last Saturday.
The Wildcats hammered the Knights on the glass, snatching 44 boards. The Knights tallied only 17 rebounds.
Center Stephen Werner set the tone for the ‘Cats, scoring 22 points and dominating the paint.
The Knights were only able to score 10 points in the paint because of the solid defense by Werner and the rest of the ACU big men.
“We just finished in the paint,” head coach Joe Golding said. “We made a honest effort to get the ball inside. All year we have made an effort to get the ball inside, but the last couple gamesÂ we were able to finish and make some baskets down there.”
Elliot Lloyd and Eric Lawton also finished in double figures, and Dosh Simms pulled down 11 rebounds.
The ‘Cats also shot the ball better than they had all year, knocking down two-thirds of their shots and made 57% of their attempts from behind the arc.
Sharpshooters Parker Wentz and Elliot Lloyd can score from anywhere on the court, and it has all come to fruition in the last week.
Over the break, the Wildcats took a trip to Las Vegas for a basketball tournament. ACU dropped their first game to Rollins College before beating Florida Tech 82-72.
From there the ‘Cats returned to Moody Coliseum to start the New Year with a couple of Lone Star Conference matchups. ACU dropped both games by a combined seven points.
“I think we are a confident team we just need to find a way to win the last four minutes,” Golding said. “The other teams are making plays when it matters right now. We have to have some guys step up at the end of games, and I have to put them in a good position to do that.”
Then ACU took another break from conference play to smack around Arlington Baptist and Southwestern Adventist by a combined 90 points.
“We came back from the trip self disciplined and we have been working hard,” Werner said. “We have really come together as a team and I think that will carry over.”
The Wildcats will be looking for a second semester rally to get back into the hunt in the Lone Star Conference when they travel east to take on the Texas A&M Kingsville Javelinas over the weekend.
The Wildcats have hung around .500 the entire year, and will try to push their way to the Lone Star Conference tournament.
ACU missed out on last year’s post season birth by the slimmest of margins, and are undoubtedly looking to use this year as a launching point for next season’s entrance into Division One basketball.
The top eight teams in the Lone Star Conference qualify for post-season play, so ACU could be closing in on their first post-season tournament in five seasons.