ACU will take on the Lamar University at 4 p.m. Saturday in Beaumont.
The Lady Cardinals are just a game behind in conference, leading Northwestern State (7-1 in conference), and for good reason. Despite starting the season just 3-8, Lamar has been hot since the start of the new year, going 6-2 in conference matchups with both losses of five or less points, compared to ACU’s conference record of 2-5.
“Our players need to understand just how important each possession is, each half is,” said Julie Goodenough, head coach. “Every Southland Conference game comes down to just one or two possessions, and so we’ve got to be the team that knows how to handle those situations.”
A large part of the Lady Cardinals’ early conference success has been their Southland-leading 3.79 turnover margin. More than doubling the Wildcats’, the Lamar defense, which averages 22.2 turnovers a game, will be at work against the Wildcats, who have struggled as of late with turnovers against their Southland opponents.
The Wildcats will also have to look out for Lamar’s high-scoring offense.
On the backs of two of the conference’s top 11 scorers – junior JaMeisha Edwards (13.7 ppg) and graduate student Dominique Edwards (12.9 ppg) – the Lady Cardinals come into the game at just 1.6 points less in points per game than ACU’s Southland-leading 71.1 ppg, which is still good for fourth best in the conference.
All of the Wildcats’ top shooters, including sophomore Sydney Shelstead, who leads the team in ppg at 12.5, will need to be locked in to grab the win on the road.
Shelstead, along with sophomores Lizzy and Suzzy Dimba, are three of the Southland conference’s best rebounders on both sides of the ball.
The threesome, which combines for 26.6 rebounds of ACU’s average 41.2 rebounds per game, will be the Wildcats’ best chance at winning this game.
They will take on Lamar, a team that ranks near the middle of the conference in offensive rebounds and second-to-last in the conference in defensive rebounds, just above 0-7 New Orleans.