Senior guard Jaylen Franklin scored a season-high 22 points, 20 in the second half, to help lift the Wildcats over Lamar 75-64 on the road Wednesday evening.
ACU continues to build on its conference record as the team moves to 8-2 and 19-4 overall. Lamar falls to 4-6 in Southland and 11-12 overall after the loss.
The Wildcats found themselves in a close match with Lamar during the first half. Their biggest lead was 20-12 midway through the half, but were within three most of the time.
They led by two (33-31) going into halftime, but let Lamar go ahead coming out in the second half after starting with a 7-2 run. This would be the Cardinals last lead of the game, however, as the Wildcats completed a 12-0 run from the 18:00 mark to 13:00.
After the helpful run by the Wildcats, they were able to stay on top in a comfortable double-digit lead for the remainder of the game and cruise to their 19th win of the season.
After scoring just two points in the first half, Franklin was able to convert driving layup after driving layup in the second. He said the Lamar defense put him in a position to score more Wednesday night.
“I always want to create for my teammates,” Franklin said. “But they were guarding Ricks and B.J. at the three-point line so I just went to the basket.”
Franklin added six rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal on the night. He went 9-15 (60 percent) from the field and converted four of his six free throws.
Redshirt junior center Jalone Friday was also productive against Lamar. In only 17 minutes played, he came up with 14 points and two rebounds. He completed three shots from the field out of five attempts and knocked down seven free throws out of 10.
Head coach Joe Golding said his team executed plays well and put itself in a great position all night.
“We had the game right where we wanted at halftime,” Golding said. “We held them to 31 and they’d scored 90 and 84 last week. Then in the second half, we found a play we liked that allowed JFrank to get to the basket and he took over the game.”
The men now find themselves at second in Southland heading into one of the bigger games they’ll play this season. They welcome first place Sam Houston State, who is 10-0 in Southland play, to Moody Saturday.
Both teams met in Huntsville earlier in the season in what turned out to be a wild matchup. The Wildcats, once down 41-19 at halftime, erased the large deficit outscoring the Bearkats 49-30 in the second half to come within three at the end of the game.
This Saturday, ACU will have Friday who they didn’t have in the lineup when facing Sam Houston last due to a suspension. The Bearkats will also face a red hot home team in the Wildcats boasting an 11-0 record in Moody.
Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. and coverage will air on ESPN3 as well as 98.1 FM.