After receiving a first-round bye, ACU took down the Bearcats of Central Arkansas 82-54 Friday down in Katy at Merrell Center. With the convincing win, ACU advances to the conference semifinals to take on the overall number one seed, Lamar.
Junior guard Sara Williamson gave the Wildcats the lead with a fast-break layup to end the first quarter at 16-15. Williamson finished the game with 11 points on 5-7 shooting.
The second quarter is where ACU created separation. The Wildcats outscored the Bearcats 22-6 shooting 57 percent in the segment to take a commanding 38-21 lead.
Coach Julie Goodenough after the game said,”I think our players have done a great job the past weeks understanding the big keys to the game. Our defense and intensity was really good in the second quarter getting some defensive stops, and now we just have to prep for Lamar.”
As a team, the Wildcats totaled 20 assists. Junior guard Breanna Wright certainly contributed to that number finishing with 7 assists and 14 points including four three-pointers. “We just always play with a lot of energy and intensity always looking to push the ball and we did just that today.”
Junior center Lexi Ducat also scored 14 for the Wildcats shooting 60 percent from the field and 8 rebounds. Following the win, Ducat emphasized the importance of overall team play and how she was able to benefit from that. “I really think I just fed off the energy of our team. I had a slow first half, but my teammates kept encouraging and it was a really fun game.”
Not only did ACU clinch its first-ever appearance to the Southland semifinals, but they did so in record-breaking fashion. The Wildcats made 14 three-pointers in their win, the most ever in a Southland tournament game.
Up next, ACU will play Saturday at 1 p.m. against the Lamar Cardinals in the conference semifinals. Both teams faced each other back on February 6th in Moody Coliseum. The Wildcats led 47-38 with just 8:45 left in the final quarter, but the Cardinals finished strong to grab the 63-60 win.