The women’s basketball team moved one game closer to clinching the regular season Southland Conference championship when they took care of Houston Baptist 76-55 in their final road game of the season.
The Wildcats burst out of the gates on an 15-0 run and never looked back, as HBU failed to score a single point until the 3:51 mark in the first quarter. The scoring run was sparked by junior forward Suzzy Dimba with eight straight points out of the gates.
“Suzzy did a great job and was the main success of the 15-0 lead,” junior guard Alexis Mason said. “She got eight easy points by simply taking her girl off of the dribble; which allowed easy offense and helped us to open up more dribble drive opportunities.”
As a result, ACU enjoyed a lead as big as 18 points before closing the quarter with a 21-6 advantage.
ACU built its largest lead of the game to 27 points on a layup from Mason with two minutes on the clock in the first half.
Mason showed glimpses of Michael Jordan’s historic flu game as head coach Julie Goodenough said after the game Mason was sick before tip-off. Mason finished with a game-high 23 points, eight rebounds and a spectacular 75 percent field goal percentage (9-12 FG).
“I love playing in Houston Baptist’s gym, it is a great gym for shooters. Having that mentality that was a big success to how well I shot,” Mason said. “I felt a little upset with myself after the Southeastern Louisiana game because I missed a lot of shots I felt I should have made. So my goal going into this game was to just go into the game and focus regardless of if I started out hitting shots or missing shots.”
The Huskies cut the lead slightly before halftime, but the Wildcats still boasted a 44-21 halftime advantage.
Despite being outscored in the second half 34-32, ACU continued to control all aspects of the game and HBU was unable to put together any significant scoring runs.
Points off turnovers played a huge role in the outcome of the game as the Wildcats held a 25-12 advantage and 42-28 edge in points in the paint.
After scoring the first eight points of the game, Dimba cooled off, but still finished with a strong 14 points and six rebounds. Freshman forward McKenzie Martin also added 10 points off the bench.
The win is ACU’s 14th conference win and preserves their one game lead in the race for a conference championship. The Wildcats finish the road portion of their schedule at an incredible 10-3 mark, and they will play their final three games at home where they are 11-0.