After a late spark from junior guard Alexis Mason pushed them past New Orleans, 80-70, the women’s basketball team is just one win away from clinching at least a share of the Southland Conference regular season championship.
Mason poured in 61 points and 14 rebounds in three Wildcat wins last week on her way to earning her fourth Southland Conference player of the week award.
ACU (24-3, 15-1) has won 20 out of its last 21 games and continues to boast the largest scoring margin in the Southland Conference with a 14.7 point advantage each game. But ahead of their rematch with Incarnate Word, Wildcats are just 2-1 in rematches this season, with their only conference loss coming to Lamar about a month ago.
When the two teams met in San Antonio at the end of January, the Wildcats came away with a convincing 86-71 win behind a 26-point performance from Mason. Senior Whitney West also added 17 points on 3-8 shooting from behind the arc, and after three more makes during Saturday’s victory needs just 11 more over the next two games to tie Ashley King as the school’s all-time leader.
In the previous matchup ACU shot a blistering 54.9 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from deep. However, the Wildcats were just 22-36 from the charity stripe and were outscored 22-2 off the bench.
The Wildcats also held an edge in rebounding 35-29, but have been outrebounded in their last two home matchups. ACU will also be without junior forward Lizzy Dimba for the fifth consecutive game after she sustained a season-ending injury Feb. 14.
Dimba posted a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds in the team’s first meeting.
“They [Incarnate Word] are really good on defense,” head coach Julie Goodenough. “They try and get you to play pretty sloppy with the ball, they put a lot of pressure on us and they have good scoring threats from the perimeter as well as the post.”
UIW heads into Wednesday night’s game on a seven-game losing streak and winners of just one since falling to the Wildcats when the teams met earlier this season. At 3-13 against Southland competition the Cardinals will be looking for a season defining win in Moody Coliseum.