In a game filled with free throws, delays and bats, the Wildcats earned their ninth straight win, 79-62, over McNeese State.
ACU opened the game on a 10-0 scoring run, as it looked like the Wildcats would have no trouble earning their 13th victory of the season.
But as junior forward Suzzy Dimba stepped to the line for two free throws with just over a minute left in the first quarter, an unexpected appearance from Moody Coliseum’s residential bat would cause a 20-minute delay of the game. After commendable efforts from the ACU cheerleaders, the McNeese State trainer and frightened fans to safely capture the bat the game was allowed to resume.
The delay seemed to be just what the Cowgirls were looking for, as they limited ACU before finally cutting the lead to one, 37-36, heading into halftime.
McNeese State continued to keep pace with ACU, taking the lead seconds into the third quarter, 38-37, but the teams combined for just five points over the next four minutes on 2-for-13 shooting. However, the Wildcat offense woke up over the final six minutes of the quarter, scoring 15 points, including a three-pointer with a second left from junior guard Alexis Mason. Mason finished with a game-high 26 points, marking the fourth time in 15 games she’s eclipsed the 20-point mark. Mason added eight rebounds in 33 minutes of play.
Leading 55-48 entering the fourth quarter, ACU put together their best 10 minutes of the game. The Wildcats outscored the Cowgirls 24-14, who shot just 4-for17 from the field in the fourth and committed four turnovers, en route to the 79-62 victory.
Juniors Sydney Shelstead and Suzzy Dimba each posted double-doubles, as Shelstead finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds and Dimba contributed 11 points and 11 rebounds to the winning effort. For Shelstead, her double-double was her second in the last two games, and Suzzy Dimba’s 25th career double-double for ACU.
Junior Lizzy Dimba also posted double figures with 11 points, as ACU’s four juniors combined for 70 points and 38 rebounds.
After surrendering 19 first half free throws to McNeese State, ACU held the Cowgirls to just one trip to the charity stripe in the second half. The Wildcats converted 23 of their 30 free throws, shooting 30 or more for the second consecutive game.
With the win the, Wildcats improved to 13-2 overall and 4-0 in conference play and are currently ranked 21st in the latest collegeinsider.com mid-major top 25.
ACU will look to push their current win streak to double digits when they take on Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches on Saturday afternoon.