The men’s basketball team traveled to Eastern New Mexico with hopes of stealing a win on the road, but they came up just one point short, falling 65-64.
“We played really well on the road in Portales,” head coach Joe Golding said. “I was very proud of our guys. ENMU shot 37% from the floor and we played really well on defense and we outrebounded them by 15. We just didn’t make our free throws and then we had some lapses and gave them some threes, which is where they won the game. They had nine threes in that game.”
The Wildcats have played nearly every team close this entire season, but have been unable to squeak out close victories. The ENMU loss gives the ‘Cats four conference losses by two points or less.
“It is encouraging that we are in games but me and my guys are not going to settle for coming up short like that,” shooting guard Elliott Lloyd said. “We have some players that want to get the job done and bring some recognition and notoriety to this school.”
ACU put together a solid game defensively, holding the Greyhounds to less than forty percent shooting.
Meanwhile, the ‘Cats offense was playing efficient basketball, scoring on 45% of their attempts, but the Greyhounds nine makes from behind the arc were too much for ACU to overcome.
Steven Werner lead all scorers with 18 points, five rebounds, and three blocked shots in one of his best games as a Wildcat. Point guard Eric Lawton had 14 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists in a losing effort, and Lloyd scored t 13 points.
The backcourt play of Lloyd and Lawton has been a puzzle that not many teams have been able to solve this year, and Saturday was no different for Eastern New Mexico.
“Our chemistry is one of a kind,” Lloyd said. “We are friends on and off the court, and that goes a long way. I know at the end of the day he has my back and I definitely have his.”
Dosh Simms had 11 rebounds, but saw his streak of double doubles come to an end with only seven points.
The ‘Cats are only one game out of sixth place in the win column in the Lone Star Conference, so each game is crucial to ACU as they march towards a possible playoff birth.
“We are sill right in the thick of things,” Golding said. “Kingsville has five wins, Tarleton State has five wins and Commerce has four wins.”
“We play Commerce and Tarleton State this week, so it is a big week for us. Every week is meaningful,” he said. “We said we needed two wins against Angelo and we got them, which made last week even bigger. We didn’t get them last week, so we need to find a way to get them this week.”
The Wildcats take on Texas A&M Commerce tonight in Commerce with a chance to claw their way back up the standings and stay alive in their quest for March Madness of their own.
“We can’t lose our spirit,” Lloyd said. “We have to come out and execute the game plan that coach presented to us in the locker room, and come out and fight for it. We have to take every possession one at a time. We play Commerce next game, so we have to go out and take care of business. “