The Wildcats face one of their more daunting challenges on Tuesday with a match up against Houston Baptist at Moody Coliseum.
ACU sits at 9-12 and 4-4 in conference after their 80-71 win against Lamar on Saturday. The Huskies are one of two teams that have yet to drop a game against a Southland Conference opponent. At 14-7 and 8-0 in league play, HBU is tied for first place in conference with Stephen F. Austin.
The Wildcats struggled with fouls against Lamar, as the Cardinals attempted 26 free throws in the second half to keep things close down the stretch. Lamar cut what was a double-digit lead for much of the game to single-digits with a minute to go. The Wildcats hit their free throws down the stretch to remain perfect at home during conference play (3-0) and 7-2 overall at Moody this season.
Freshman Jaylen Franklin scored 27 points, two off his season-high, while hitting a season-high three three-point makes during the game. He filled up the box score with eight rebounds, six assists and five steals.
Fellow freshman Jaren Lewis added 12 points and six boards off the bench. ACU got a huge boost from the bench, as they dropped in 36 points.
The Houston Baptist Huskies are having a memorable season. They moved to 8-0 in the Southland after squeaking by Sam Houston State, 70-69, to remain unbeaten at home. The game remained close in the second half, as the Bearkats were never able to establish more than a six point lead over the Huskies.
Both teams exchanged three-point makes to tie it at 69 all. The Huskies would head to the free throw line and sink one of two with three seconds to go. SHSU got one last shot up, but it was offline to give HBU one of its biggest wins of the year.
The Huskies are 9-0 at home in the HBU Sharp Gym, but lucky for ACU, the game will be played a long way from Houston.
Before the Huskies battle with Sam Houston, their overall conference slate had not been very difficult. During Southland play, HBU’s opponents have a combined league record of 25-48, indicating that the Huskies have not gone up against any of the elite talent of the Southland Conference, say for Sam Houston.
Anthony Odunsi is one of the top scorers in the conference. The red-shirt senior is third in the conference at 20.3 points per game during league play. He’s also on a shooting tear over his last eight games, hitting 46 percent from the field and 83 percent from the line. Against New Orleans, Odunsi put in a season-high 28 points on 6-8 shooting and converting 15-18 free throw attempts.
Odunsi lives at the free throw line, attempting 167 free throws for the season so far, making it over eight attempts per contest. In his last trip to Moody, he recorded two points, but scored 20 on ACU the last time they visited Houston. Expect head coach Joe Golding to put Lewis on Odunsi for much of the game, as one of the Wildcats most flexible defenders.
6-foot-11, 250 lbs. Josh Ibarra mans the middle for the Huskies. The sophomore center averages 11.5 points per game in Southland play and 7.6 rebounds, sixth in conference.
The Wildcats tip off with Houston Baptist on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.