The Wildcats returned to Moody Wednesday afternoon to face Central Arkansas, but didn’t receive the welcome back it was hoping for as the Sugar Bears stole a 73-61 victory.
The women held its home court ground in the first-half with the help of scoring 18 second-quarter points, which doubled Central Arkansas’ nine and gave ACU the 29-24 halftime lead. The Wildcats also shot 44 percent from the field in the first-half while the Sugar Bears shot 39 percent.
Central Arkansas, however, came out completely different in the second-half. Although the Wildcats outscored the Sugar Bears 15-13 through seven minutes of the third-quarter, senior forward Taylor Baudoin hit a jumper at the 2:32 mark that would start Central Arkansas on a 12-2 run to end the quarter with the score being 49-46 in its favor.
ACU tried its best to hold off Central Arkansas from capturing a road victory in the fourth-quarter. At the halfway point of the final quarter, the women regained a 58-57 lead by outscoring the Sugar Bears 12-8.
The women would then run out of gas though, as the team watched Central Arkansas finish the game with a 16-3 run propelling the team to a 12-point win. The Sugar Bears also put together an impressive second-half of shooting the ball with a field goal percentage of 62 while ACU only shot 41 percent.
Baudoin showed her senior leadership in the game scoring 24 points, the most of either team. She was also the only starter of her team to eclipse double-digit scoring as her teammate junior guard Antonija Bozic came off the bench to score 16 points, as well as senior center Kierra Jordan who scored 12.
Sophomore guard Breanna Wright led the Wildcats with 17 points and also posted five assists, a block and a steal.
“Overall, I think we played much better than we have been in our last couple of games. We had great energy, we were communicating with each other really well, and getting second-chance opportunities to score thanks to multiple offensive rebounds,” said junior guard Sara Williamson. “We played solid basketball for about 35 minutes, and then we just weren’t able to finish the game.”
With the loss, the women again slipped in the standings to sixth with a 9-7 conference record while Central Arkansas remained in third with a 12-4 Southland record.
The Wildcats now find themselves with two games remaining on its regular season schedule. The team’s next game is a matchup against second-place Stephen F. Austin for its final home game of the year, and the last game is on the road against a struggling Incarnate Word. A win in either game would send the women to the Southland postseason tournament.
“We know that in order to beat SFA on Wednesday, we need to be able to play solid for the entire 40 minutes and not just parts of it,” Williamson said. “We still haven’t solidified a spot in the conference tournament yet, so these last two games of the regular season are critical for us, and we know that we need to get back to playing Wildcat basketball in order to clinch a spot.”
The women will be looking to avenge its 66-55 loss to SFA earlier in the season when welcoming the Lumberjacks to Moody this week. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.