The ACU women’s basketball team defeated the Div. III Howard Payne Yellow Jackets Monday night 102-60, moving their record up to 2-0.
After defeating Wayland Baptist, 91-64, two nights before in their first game of the season and with an away game to prepare for, the team wanted to get some rest in before the game.
“We just spent yesterday just talking about Howard Payne, just going over the scouting report,” said Julie Goodenough, head coach. “You know, we didn’t want to do a whole lot (in practice). We’ve got three games in five days, so practice was just a chance for us to recover and really just prepare mentally for what we thought that Howard Payne would do tonight.”
The Wildcats never trailed in the game, jumping to an early 7-0 lead on a jumper by sophomore guard Alexis Mason, who led the team in points with 24, and a 24-8 lead with 13:41 left in the first half, after a steal by junior guard Paris Webb, who dished it to Mason for the assist.
“I was really pleased with just how our players executed offensively to start the game out,” Goodenough said. “I think we were really ready to shoot on the perimeter when we had open looks. I think our players came in ready to play tonight. We played good team basketball again, getting 21 assists in back-to-back games, and I think that shows that we’re distributing the ball really well, making that extra pass for a better shot.”
At the end of the first half, the Wildcats were already up by 28 points, 52-24. The team shot 50 percent on field goals and three-pointers. The Wildcats managed to snag 24 rebounds in the first 20 minutes and were able to make adjustments during halftime for a game that would not become any closer.
“In the first half, I felt like we executed and got open three-pointers,” Goodenough said. “But in the second half, we kind of changed our philosophy and started pounding it inside, and our post players did a nice job finishing post moves.”
Howard Payne moves into its season 0-1, and despite the Wildcats leading by as much as 44 near the end of the second half and finishing up the game 42 points ahead, coach Goodenough said the team really showed the Wildcats where their flaws are.
“I think Howard Payne came in and played really well,” Goodenough said. “Their guard (junior Danyel) Bradley, she put on a clinic, several times just dribbling through two or three defenders, going into layups and really exposed that sometimes we’re not very good at being in help-side when we need to be.”
The Wildcats will look to improve their team and team chemistry in their next game against University of Texas at San Antonio Roadrunners at 7 p.m. in San Antonio.