The men’s basketball squad will take on McNeese in their final road game of the year on Saturday at 3 p.m. in Lake Charles, La.
The Wildcats have been on an offensive tear recently, averaging 104 points per game over their current three-game winning streak. Their biggest moment of the streak came during their past home game when they not only set the team record, but also tied the Southland Conference record with 21 three-point field goal makes in the win against Southwest Adventist, 124-57.
ACU, winners of four of their last six, owns a 2-9 conference record and an 11-17 overall record. The Wildcats had three non-conference games before returning to Southland play Thursday night against Nicholls State.
As a team the Wildcats average 71.7 points per game, good enough for seventh in the conference. On defense, the team allows 71.3 points a contest which is ranked fifth in the league. Over their home stand, ACU held opponents to just 64.0 points per game on 38.9 percent shooting, 7.3 percent lower than what they have held teams to all season long (46.2).
“We’ve really been moving the ball well which has led to a lot of our success,” sophomore guard Parker Wentz said. “We have to be sure though to come out strong, and maintain great defense from start to finish.”
Junior guard Julian Edmonson and Wentz have helped fuel the Wildcats toward their recent success. Over their three-game home winning streak, Edmonson averaged 25.3 points per game on 62 percent shooting from the field along with 1.6 steals per contest. He has reached double digits in points scored in all but one of the Wildcats previous 12 games.
Wentz has not been far behind, as he averaged 23.3 points per game, 6.3 assists per game and managed 2.6 steals per game. Wentz’s 10 assists in the Wildcats blowout win over Southwest Adventist was the first time an ACU player reached double digits in assists in a game since 2007. Currently, Wentz leads the Southland Conference in all three-point shooting categories, including percentage (.45) and made per game (2.5).
“My teammates have done an awesome job of moving the ball and getting me the ball when I’ve been open,” Wentz said.
McNeese (8-18, 6-8) has lost four of their last five games coming into Saturday’s game. The team averages 66.8 points a game, second to last in the conference, and allows 76.3 points to opponents. They have done a solid job this year at protecting home court, going 5-3 at Burton Coliseum.
The Cowboys are led by senior guard Ledrick Eackles who averages 16.5 points per game. Nearly 70 percent of his points have come from either beyond the arc or from the foul line, in which case he leads the conference in three-point attempts and is in the top ten in free throw attempts for this season. Junior forward Desharick Guidry is a hand full on the boards, as he averages a near double double with 10.5 points a game and 8.2 rebounds per game. At just 6’5″, Guidry leads the Southland in rebounds per game.
The two teams come into the game attempting more three-pointers than anyone else. The Wildcats average 40 percent from beyond the arc, compared to the Cowboys 30 percent.
The game can be heard locally on 98.1 FM the Ticket.