After a perfect 3-0 holiday home stand, the women’s basketball team (4-1) heads to Lubbock to take on Texas Tech (4-1) for the third straight season.
In their first year as a Div. 1 program in 2013, the Wildcats traveled to Lubbock and shocked the Red Raiders with a 58-57 upset victory behind now Junior Suzzy Dimba‘s 16-point, 13-rebound performance as a freshman.
All five of ACU’s current starters scored in the win two years ago, which is something head coach Julie Goodenough says will help level the playing the field.
“In the back of our junior’s and senior’s minds they remember we beat Tech two years ago, which gives a sense of confidence,” Goodenough said. “But they also realize that we have to get it done with smart plays and being the most team oriented team on the court.”
The Wildcats have stayed true to Goodenough’s push to play smart, as they posted a plus-37 margin in turnovers and averaged 88.7 points per game during their holiday home stand.
ACU is led by juniors Alexis Mason (14.6 points/game) and Sydney Shelstead (14.0 points/game, 7.8 rebounds/game). Mason scored 20 points in ACU’s win over the University of Texas-San Antonio and has recorded double-digits in all but one game this year. Shelstead has struggled over the past two games after scoring 26 points in the opener and 20 against UTSA. She’s just 4-15 from the field for 13 points over the last two games.
Meanwhile, Texas Tech enters Wednesday’s matchup with an identical 4-1 record, but is coming off their first loss against the University of Washington on Saturday. The Red Raiders are 1-0 against the Southland Conference this season after a 113-51 thrashing of Southeastern Louisiana. ACU finished 2-0 against SELU a year ago, with a 75-74 win in February and an 83-65 win two weeks later on the road in Hammond, Louisiana.
Sophomore forward Sierra Allen said the team will focus heavily on playing fundamentally sound basketball, as Texas Tech boasts four players, who average double figures.
“Our game plan going into this game is probably playing smart and making sure we block out there bigger girls and keeping them off the boards,” Allen said. “Taking smart shots and making the extra pass to get our teammates open.”
Texas Tech got back to their winning against ACU a season ago when they took care of the visiting team 61-44, thanks to a slow shooting start by the Wildcats. Junior Lizzy Dimba was the lone scorer in double digits with 10.
ACU will be looking to regain the edge in the all-time series when they take the floor against their second Big XII opponent of the season.
“I think a win would boost our confidence heading into conference and also into a long month of away games,” Allen said.
The Wildcats will play just one home game this month, Dec. 31 against Schreiner University.