After a heartbreaking loss to SFA Wednesday, the men’s basketball team came back home to host Central Arkansas Saturday afternoon and earned a dominant 79-56 victory.
The Wildcats kept building on their lead all game and were never threatened with a comeback by the Bears. UCA only led twice in the game being up 4-2 and 6-5 in the opening minutes.
ACU jumped ahead 8-6 shortly after and kept the lead the rest of the way. With two free throws from freshman guard Damien Daniels towards the end of the first half, the Wildcats were able to claim a 10 point lead (39-29) at halftime.
In the second half, the men stayed in a double-digit lead and eventually went ahead by 20 at the 7:22 mark after a tip-in shot by redshirt junior B.J. Maxwell. ACU them cruised its way to the easy 79-56 victory.
Senior forward Jaren Lewis said it was important for the team to redeem itself today.
“It feels really good to bounce back,” Lewis said. “We’ve been bouncing back all year after losses. We knew how important this game was, so we had to stay locked in and get a big win.”
Redshirt junior center Jalone Friday scored a team-leading 17 points in the game and came away five rebounds and two steals. Lewis and Maxwell also put up good numbers with 16 points apiece.
Head coach Joe Golding was proud to see his team move on from a tough loss.
“28 seconds will not define our team ever and we had veteran guys in the locker room that showed that today,” Golding said. “We bounced back against a good team, they had just won four in a row, but we were ready to go from the start.”
After the win, the men are now 17-4 overall and 6-2 in conference play, while the Bears fall 10-11 overall and 5-3 in Southland.
The Wildcats will remain at home this Wednesday as they face Texas A&M-Corpus Christi for the first of two meetings this season. The Islanders are coming off a bye week after having Saturday off and will bring a 4-2 Southland record into Wednesday
ACU will look to stay undefeated at home against the Islanders after improving to 10-0 with its win over the Bears.
Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. in Moody and the game will air on ESPN3 as well as 98.1 FM.