The men’s basketball team will look for a little road magic to help them end their curent 11-game losing streak. ACU, who stands at 9-18 and 3-11, will play New Orleans (8-15, 4-10) at 6:15 p.m. Saturday in the Lakefront Arena.
The Wildcats are coming off a 67-44 loss to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Tuesday night. The frigid temperatures outside Moody Coliseum seemed to have made its way inside, as the Wildcats were cold from the field putting up just a 35 percent field-goal percentage for the game. The men were also a subpar 5-15 from the three-point arc, while the Islanders went a shade better, 5-12.
ACU has not won a game in more than a month, with its last win coming on Jan. 13 against Northwestern State in Natchitoches, Louisiana, 95-81. Since then, head coach Joe Golding and his team have had a tough time keeping up with not only the best in the conference, but those in the middle-of-the-pack as well.
The Wildcats are led by Harrison Hawkins, senior guard from Long Beach, California, who averages 13.1 points per game. Hawkins, who has started 17 of his 26 games played, has come off the bench in the last two games. He scored five points in ACU’s game against Southeastern Louisiana, and 11 points on 3-5 shooting from downtown in his last game against TAMCC.
Parker Wentz, junior guard from Lubbock, is averaging 11.9 points per game on the strength of 43 percent shooting from the three, second best in the conference. LaDarrien Williams, senior guard from Austin, averages 10.1 points per game and 4.1 rebounds. Williams has been inconsistent as of late, though. He scored double-digit points in back-to-back games against Lamar and Sam Houston State, but scored just four and then six points in ACU’s last two games.
Austin Cooke junior forward from Scottsdale, Arizona, leads the Southland Conference in three-point percentage since the start of conference play. His 52 percent is eight points higher than the second-best shooter, teammate Hawkins (.44). Cooke averages 10.1 points per game and a team-leading 6.1 rebounds per game.
Cooke had a career night against Southeastern Louisiana two games ago in which he recorded his second double-double of the season with 10 points and a carrer-high 13 rebounds. Before the TAMCC game, Cooke finished with seven straight double-digit scoring games becoming ACU’s most consistent scorer.
The New Orleans Privateers are coming off a tight 74-73 win over Southeastern Louisiana Monday night ending their two-game losing streak. The Privateers average 68.3 points per game, with the Wildcats coming in at 63.7, second-to-last in the conference. New Orleans struggles from the three-point line, converting just 30 percent as a team compared to ACU who leads the conference with 42 percent.
Much like ACU, the Privateers have a trio of scorers they rely on. Sophomore guard Christavious Gill leads New Orleans with 12.5 points per game. Junior forward Kevin Hill does a lot of work down low and could be a problem for the undersized ‘Cats.
At 6-feet-7-inches, Hill is top in the conference in rebounding at 6.7 boards a game and puts in 11.1 points per game. To round out the trio, senior guard Kevin Brown averages 10.3 points per game and leads the Privateers in three-point shooting (.33).
In their last meeting, the Privateers edged the Wildcats in ACU’s first Southland Conference game since moving to the conference last year. The Wildcats fell 87-81 off of 50 combined points from Hawkins (19), Wentz (16) and Williams (15) who also combined for 57 percent shooting.