The Wildcats took home a huge win Wednesday night as they defeated Texas A&M Commerce 75-61 and secured a spot in the Lone Star Conference Championship tournament.
“I’m really proud of our players for keeping their composure and for showing a lot of discipline on the road,” Head Coach Julie Goodenough said. “The road tests are pretty difficult considering there are a lot of good teams in our conference, and it’s great to be able to earn a win away from Moody.”
ACU went into the break down 33-28, but opened up the second half with a 12-2 run and never looked back. They outscored Commerce 47-28 in the second half, behind great play from all up and down the lineup.
Junior Renata Marquez had a stellar performance with 19 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals. Freshman Whitney West also had a great night as she added a career high 19 points on 6-8 shooting, including 5-7 from behind the arc.
“We did a great job of stopping their press and taking high percentage shots in the second half,” Goodenough said. “Our zone defense was really good. We prevented them from getting the ball inside and forced them to take outside shots.”
With the win behind them, The Wildcats will focus on one of their biggest challenges of the season so far. The Tarleton State TexAnns will come to Abilene Sat. Feb. 9 in what can be expected as an intense LSC battle.
Tarleton owns a 15-4, 11-2 LSC record and are currently second in the conference, one game behind first place Midwestern (17-3, 12-2) and one game ahead of third place ACU (16-4, 11-3).
“Tarleton has arguably the best post player in the LSC in Kiara Wright so a lot of defensive emphasis is going to go towards her and making sure she doesn’t get the ball where she’s comfortable and hopefully we can disrupt her game,” Goodenough said.
“They also have a great shooter in Payton Adamson so guarding her close all night, especially at the three point line will be important. The next few days are going to consist of heavy, defensive minded practices and just getting mentally prepared for Tarleton.”
The Wildcats have lost their last eight games against Tarleton, but are 8-2 at Moody. A win on Saturday could tie ACU and Tarleton State for second place in LSC with only five games left on the schedule.
“The game on Saturday is the biggest game of the season for us so far, so right now we are focused just on Tarleton,” Goodenough said.
“I know that we are going to play our hardest and play the best we can. It’s great that we clinched the tournament, so we don’t have to worry about that anymore. Now, we can focus just on Tarleton and making sure we get a win on our home court.”