The last time the women’s basketball team was on the losing end of a match up was two months ago. Since losing to Texas Tech on Dec. 2, the team has reeled off 14 straight wins by an average margin of 15.6 points per game.
During the streak, the Wildcats have also seen junior Alexis Mason emerge as arguably the best player in the conference, after she won three consecutive Player of the Week Awards before being dethroned and “settling” for honorable mention, despite posting back-to-back double-doubles in ACU’s last two games.
“Alexis has had some of the best games in her career during conference play,” head coach Julie Goodenough said. “I would imagine that coaches are working on strategies to slow her down, but we do have four or five other players who can really score.”
Mason is averaging 19.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and three assists per game this conference season, after she recorded a career-high 13 rebounds in 90-62 thumping of Lamar.
However, like Goodenough said, the rest of the team has been on a scoring tear, averaging 78.1 points per contest. ACU’s other four starters have also averaged a combined 49 points per game since Southland Conference play.
Despite their scoring efficiency, the Wildcats will have to do one of the toughest things in sports, which is to beat a team twice, back-to-back, in order to keep their win streak alive.
“We have to expect that Lamar will shoot better than they did here on Saturday,” Goodenough said. “Also playing at home in front of their fans they will be fired up to prove themselves.”
Lamar is much better at home than on the road, posting a .700 winning percentage at 7-3.
After their rematch with Lamar, ACU will head to Louisiana to take on a struggling Southeastern Louisiana (3-16, 2-6) team. SELU is just 2-5 at home, but this will be the Wildcats second road game in three days.
“Our players do a great job of focusing on what they can control,” Goodenough said. “Hammond is a long bus trip but we have learned to do homework, sleep, and watch movies on the bus and just enjoy it rather than cry about it. It’s a challenge to play on Thursday then have one game to prepare for Saturday’s matchup but we will just do our best to get everything done.”
The Wildcats were perfect against SELU, posting a nail-biting 75-74 win and a 83-65 route on ESPN3. SELU is also last in the Southland Conference, as they allow an average of 72.9 points to opponents. But it is worth noting they have dropped that number from 82.7 since the start of conference play.
With a win on Thursday night against Lamar, ACU will surpass their conference win total from a season ago. Another win against SELU on Saturday would secure the Wildcat’s their first 20-win season since the 2012-13 season.