The Women’s basketball team kicked off Christmas Slam with a 92-64 victory over Texas A&M Commerce. Moody Coliseum saw its largest crowd of the year with 500 T-shirts already handed out before the opening tip.
“Christmas Slam is an effort by the Student’s Association to increase student involvement at sporting events and, ultimately, to one day pack Moody,” said Rodney Johnson, vice president of Students’ Association. That effort did not go unnoticed by the Wildcats.
“The crowd was awesome. Hopefully we won some fans over tonight,” head coach Julie Goodenough said after the game.
Commerce, a former Lone Star Conference rival, held close to the Wildcats through the first 10 minutes of the game. Their full-court press slowed the run-and-gun ACU offense. The ‘Cats took the pressure in stride, weathering the early storm. Goodenough was encouraged by her team’s protection of the ball.
“I thought we did a great job of playing together as a team and taking care of the ball,” she said.
Still, the story of the first half was freshman Alexis Mason. She managed a perfect 7-7 from the field in the first 20 minutes.
“She was the benefactor when some other players drove to the middle and kicked out to her. She is a great shooter,” Goodenough said.
Her scoring sparked a 12-0 run for the Wildcats, from which they never looked back. Mason finished with a team-high of 26 points. Suzzy Dimba added 15 points, which just topped her twin, Lizzy, with 12 points. Renata Marquez did not have quite the scoring barrage she is used to, but still dished out seven assists.
The Lions were led in scoring by Devin Oliver, with 18, and Breanna Harris with 14. They exhibited an up-tempo pace and an aggressive style of play. ACU’s transitional offense and lane penetration simply proved to be too much for Commerce.
The ‘Cats will put their 6-2 record on the line against Div. I opponent University of Texas at San Antonio on Sunday. The Roadrunners are 4-4 and have won two straight. ACU will be looking to beat their second Div. I opponent and grab a third consecutive victory.