The ACU women’s basketball team will be in action Saturday against the University of Central Arkansas Bears. The ‘Cats come into the competition with an 11-6 record and 2-0 in conference before their game Thursday night against Oral Roberts.
Most importantly, ACU is undefeated when it comes to playing at home. This is not by happenstance. Head coach Julie Goodenough has preached home court protection since the beginning of the year.
“We want to protect our home court. Our goal is to be undefeated at home,” she said.
Still, the competition rolling into Moody Coliseum is only going to get tougher from here. The Wildcats will not see Wayland Baptists or Texas Lutherans. Conference play is a whole new ball game.
Luckily, for Goodenough and her staff, her team comes into the UCA game after a strong winter break. They beat Texas Tech, Jacksonville and New Orleans, all of who are Div. I. opponents. The success has also been distributed evenly, which is impressive. Four players are averaging in double figures with eight players averaging over 15 minutes per game.
It is a toss up as to who could step up in each game. Everyone is playing with confidence and passion which is hard to match up against. Despite their success, the team is still taking a very disciplined approach.
“I feel like we are still growing every day and learning new things daily as a team and individually,” freshman forward Suzzy Dimba said.
Meanwhile, UCA is also 2-0 in the Southland with an 8-6 record overall. UCA also has marquee wins under its belt with victories against Ole Miss and Louisiana Monroe. Senior Courtney Duever, center, and freshman Maggie Proffitt, guard, have lead the bears in scoring. Duever was recently named the Southland Conference women’s basketball player of the week for averaging 19.7 points and 10.7 rebounds.
The match up between the Wildcats’ 6-3 Sidney Shelstead and the Bears’ 6-1 Duever will be an critical and entertaining game to watch. On the perimeter, Renata Marquez and Whitney West, ACU’s leading scorers, will have the upper hand over two freshmen from UCA.
Match-ups aside, it will be the ‘Cats effort and intensity that ultimately leads them Saturday against Central Arkansas and into conference play.