The women’s basketball team came away with a win against one of the top teams in the Southland Conference, Sam Houston State. The Wildcats played their first nationally televised game, broadcasted through ESPN3.
The ‘Cats were coming off two disappointing losses, and this game looked like another toss up. However, after seven lead changes, ACU took control and won 73-67.
“We were very disappointed after our game on Thursday,” head coach Julie Goodenough said. “I think we learned some lessons from that. Being able to take the lead and finish this game was pretty impressive.”
Every Wildcat who stepped out on the court made impressive plays. Freshman forward Suzzy Dimba led the team in scoring with 18 points and had three steals and three blocks on the other end. Sophomore guard Whitney West found her shooting rhythm with 16 points, while freshman guard Lizzy Dimba contributed 10 points as well.
“I believe I was able to finally hit those shots against Sam Houston because, unlike the previous two games, I kept shooting even though at first I wasn’t really hitting many,” West said.
Freshman forward Sydney Shelstead came off the bench to guard the Bearkats star player and easily the best center in the Southland conference, Anglea Beadle. While Beadle had 20 points and 13 points, Shelstead had 10 of her own and four clutch free-throws down the stretch. Senior forward Renata Marquez spent much of the game on the bench in foul trouble but converted a crucial bucket plus the foul to put the game out of hand.
With West back in the driver seat, the offense looked as dynamic as it had all season. Still, ACU needed a strong finish to close out the formidable Bearkats. Unlike Thursday where the ‘Cats squandered an eight point lead, the purple and white held on to a late seven-point lead to win.
“The loss on Thursday really taught us that we have to finish strong no matter the score,” West said. “And Saturday we were able to prove that we did in fact learn from our mistakes, as we kept the lead until the final buzzer.”
The win moves them above .500 in conference play and to 12-8 overall.
Five games into conference play and one thing is certain; this team wants to win. They may have let one get away against Central Arkansas, but they watched the tape, learned from their mistakes and came up big on national television. That fact alone is assurance that, for these Wildcat,s there are many more good days to come.