In their first trip to the Southland postseason tournament, the Wildcats defeated Southeastern Louisiana 69-66 Friday evening to reach the championship game.
Junior guard Payten Ricks played a big role in ACU’s win scoring 21 points including five three-pointers. With 1:30 left to go in the game, Ricks hit a shot from beyond the arc that put his team back ahead 60-59.
Ricks said his team trusted his shot all evening allowing him to convert on the clutch three-pointer.
“It was kind of an in the moment shot,” Ricks said. “My teammates trust me and tell me to let it fly. That’s been the biggest thing for me this year for them to have my back. I credit my teammates for that shot.”
The Kansas native also finished with five rebounds and three steals in the game.
Senior forward Jaren Lewis earned a double-double in the game with 17 points and 11 rebounds. He also added three steals, two assists and a block.
Overall, the Wildcats made 22 free throws out of 28 attempted and scored 21 points off turnovers.
Head coach Joe Golding said he’s excited for his team, especially the seniors.
“These seniors couldn’t play in the postseason their first two years and that’s a big sacrifice,” Golding said. “This is truly a close group of guys that believe in each other and care about each other.”
ACU will now move on to play New Orleans Saturday evening for the championship game at 8:30 p.m. which will air on ESPN 2.