The ACU women’s basketball team defeated the Southeastern Louisiana University Lions Saturday afternoon in Hammond, Louisiana, 83-65, increasing its record to 15-10 overall.
The team’s now 7-7 Southland record maintains the Wildcats’ place at eighth in the conference but puts the ‘Cats at .500 in conference for the first time this season.
“It’s been really exciting here of late and it’s exactly where you want to be,” head coach Julie Goodenough said. “We’re playing our best basketball of the season right now and the results have shown that. Our team has embraced a mindset of teamwork and that’s really what has led us to be successful on the court.”
The Wildcats gained the lead with 16:49 left in the first half and never let go, but the Lions managed to keep the contest close for most of the game, pushing the deficit to as little as two with 15:08 left in the second half before sophomore Alexis Mason buried a three to keep the Wildcats in the driver’s seat.
The Wildcats, who struggled on the road when the season started, going 0-4, are now 4-1 in road Southland conference match-ups since.
The 3-11 SELU team is a familiar foe to the Wildcats. The two teams battled just a few weeks ago on Feb. 7 in Moody Coliseum, and the Wildcats beat the Lions, 75-74, in their closest margin of victory this season.
The Wildcats’ success was largely due to their limiting the Lions’ best players: senior guard Elizabeth Styles, who leads the conference in assists, and junior Nanna Pool, who is one of the conference’s best scorers, rebounders and shot-blockers.
The ‘Cats had multiple players that played well and had a significant impact on the game, but the Wildcats’ best overall player was sophomore Suzzy Dimba. Dimba earned her 10th double-double of the season on Saturday while leading the Wildcats with 15 rebounds, 12 of which were on defense, 23 total points, four blocks and five steals.
“Suzzy is just so athletic and it makes her a real force on the court,” Goodenough said. “She is able to get to loose balls and grab rebounds that most aren’t able to. She really helps us out down low and in my mind has been one of the best low post players in the conference.”
Her effort moved her to fourth in the conference in rebounds, with 8.7 per game, fourth in blocks, with 1.6 per game, and first overall in steals with 2.5 per game. Dimba’s efforts against SELU, combining with her performance in the Wildcats’ 76-41 win over Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Feb. 18, helped Dimba earn her second Southland Conference women’s basketball player of the week award of her collegiate career.
The Wildcats will play again Wednesday, Feb. 25, against Houston Baptist University, whom they defeated on the road 53-50 in their last faceoff, at 7 p.m. in Moody Coliseum.