The women’s basketball team cruised to a 96-71 victory against Wayland Baptist University in its season opener at home.
The Cats led 62-35 at the half, and maintained the lead through the second half.
Junior forward Sydney Shelstead led the team, recording her 14th career double-double with 26 points and 12 rebounds.
“It’s always awesome to start off with a win, so you can just keep rolling through the season,” Shelstead said. “We’ve really been working on positioning and as a post player, that’s the way to win the game and if you can take care of that, you can score.”
All five starters recorded double figures, including junior Alexis Mason’s 18, junior Lizzy Dimba’s 13, senior Whitney (West) Swinford’s 12, and junior Suzzy Dimba’s 10 shooting 57 percent from the field.
“Our team the last couple of years has proven we’re able to score a lot of points,” head coach Julie Goodenough said. “If we put the ball on the floor, we can score inside and we can get pretty much everyone on our team open to shoot on the perimeter.”
The matchup was the first time the Wildcats played four ten-minute quarters, which replaced the two 20-minute halves as required by the NCAA starting this season.
“It’s really different, I think. It makes it feel like the game is way longer at least for us,” Shelstead said. “There’s fewer media timeouts which means in between each segment you get a little bit more tired a little bit faster.”
Wayland Baptist also shot well through the night, including 47 percent from the arc, but the Wildcats held them to just nine points in the fourth quarter.
“Lots of points for both teams-that was probably the deficiency tonight,” Goodenough said. “It didn’t feel like our defense dictated as well as it needs to, especially in the first half we just gave up way too many points.”
Both teams struggled on the perimeter in the fourth quarter, going for a combined 0-9 on three-pointers. The Wildcats got on the boards 50 times compared to Wayland Baptist’s 35.
“We have, I think, three of the top rebounders in the conference with Lizzy, Suzzy and Sydney so we do expect to out-rebound teams,” Goodenough said.
The Wildcats shared the ball efficiently, racking up 25 assists, the most for the team since the 2013 season.
“Good start, I thought the crowd was really good. It was kind of a long day, we had a double header with football today and I’m really proud of the crowd,” Goodenough said. “We had a really good total package today in Moody.”
The Wildcats will be on the road Monday at 5:30 p.m. to take on Kansas State, a team they lost to 68-53 last season in Moody. The team will then return to Abilene for a three-game homestand.