After a full week of rest, the women’s basketball team swings back into action Wednesday night when they travel to Texas A&M Corpus Christi to take on the Islanders.
Since having its 14-game win streak ended earlier this February, ACU has won its last two games including an emotional 67-55 victory over Sam Houston State on Play4Kay night.
The Wildcats enter the game against the Islanders as a strong favorite, leading the Southland Conference with a remarkable 11-1 conference record. ACU also leads the conference in scoring offense, scoring margin, three-point field goal defense, rebounding, blocked shots and assists.
Meanwhile, the Islanders enter the game 10th in the Southland standings at 5-8 and are 6.5 games behind ACU. Texas A&M Corpus Christi is third in three-point field goal percentage at .350 and second in rebounding defense, allowing just 34.8 rebounds per game.
These two teams met up twice last season and each time the home team ran away with a blowout win. When the Islanders visited Abilene, the Wildcats put on an impressive defensive performance on their way to a 76-41 victory. However, in the final game a year ago, Texas A&M Corpus Christi bettered ACU’s defensive efforts on its way to a 60-40 win.
Head coach Julie Goodenough said they will be counting on another big defensive effort to slow down the Islander’s shooting.
“We know they are able to score at home and they’ve had a lot of success at home this year,” Goodenough said. “Our goal is to slow them down with whatever we do defensively. We’ve got to know where the shooters are, we need to understand how they like to score and really counting on a big defensive effort.”
With Central Arkansas falling to Northwestern State last week, the Wildcats are back to a full game lead in the Southland Conference with six games left to play. Of the six games remaining, the Wildcats will play four at home including a season-ending, three-game home stand.
“Everybody is getting a little leg-weary right now, their brains are full of all kinds of information about other teams, and I think the teams that just persevere and they just focus on what they can control will be the teams that are successful down the stretch,” Goodenough said.
Goodenough said this season is like a marathon, and at this point the Wildcats are the regular season conference favorites. After being picked to finish this season ninth in the Southland during the preseason polls, ACU can secure the basketball programs, men’s or women’s, first conference championship since transitioning to Div. I by winning five out of its last six games.