Junior guard Sara Williamson brought the Moody crowd to its feet Saturday when she hit a buzzer-beating layup in a 58-56 win over Incarnate Word.
“I felt like crying after the game,” said Head Coach Julie Goodenough. “It was a great game for us, for our team to have to fight and finish, this was good for our young team to have to win a close game like this.”
Saturday’s matchup was anything but comfortable for either team as no lead reached more than four at the end of each quarter.
Incarnate Word took the first quarter from the Wildcats leading 14-12 at the end. The Cardinals, in fact, jumped out to a 13-4 lead, but thanks to an 8-1 run at the end, the Wildcats closed the gap to two.
The second quarter was more successful for the women outscoring the Cardinals 13-8, giving the team a 25-22 lead at the half.
The deficit didn’t budge much in the third quarter as the Wildcats scored 17 points, while the Cardinals scored 16 putting the score at 42-38 heading into the fourth.
The madness began with 2:20 left in the final quarter when senior point guard Melina Merritt knocked down a three-pointer to put the Cardinals within one at a score of 53-52. Incarnate Word then got the ball back and sophomore guard Imani Robinson completed a layup to give her team the lead at 54-53.
On the next possession, the Wildcats got the ball to Williamson and with nine seconds left she hit a layup while also getting fouled. Williamson made the free throw and put her team up 56-54.
The Cardinals weren’t done yet though as the team came out of a timeout and put the ball in Robinson’s hands to tie the game with a jumper. With five seconds left though, ACU took a timeout to draw up a quick play. After the timeout, the Wildcats inbounded the ball to Williamson who then got the final laugh as she drove to the hoop to make another layup and steal the win for her team.
“Coach drew up a good play and we executed well,” Williamson said. “They cut off my right side and crossed over to the left and luckily the basket went in this time. It’s an honor for my teammates to trust me that much to get me the ball at the end of the clock.”
Williamson scored 13 points in the game, while her teammate sophomore guard Dominique Golightly led the way in scoring with 18 points and also grabbed nine rebounds. Freshman forward Makayla Mabry was also impressive coming off the bench to score 10 points with two three-pointers and four free throws.
With the win, the women improved to 15-8 overall and 9-4 in Southland play, while the Cardinals fell to 3-20 overall and 2-10 in conference.
ACU will have the week off and then hit the road again to play Southeastern Louisiana Saturday at 2 p.m.