The ACU men’s basketball team returned to Moody Thursday with a convincing win over Southeastern Missouri State, 73-64.
Sophomore forward Joe Pleasant led the way for the Wildcats (3-5) with 18 points on 7-for-9 shooting and eight rebounds, including two three-pointers.
While scoring was hard to come by for both teams in the first half, ACU jumped out to an early 18-9 lead over the Redhawks with 12:37 remaining in the first half.
SEMO (3-5) shot 9-29 (31%) from the court in the first half, while ACU finished 13-35 (37.1%). Entering the second half, the Wildcats led, 33-23.
Head Coach Joe Golding said his players fought hard throughout the game.
“I think these guys deserved to win a division I. game,” Golding said. “I’ve been telling them that for two weeks, and I’m really proud of this team. Our guys did a good job tonight, they deserve it.”
The Wildcats also produced offense on the run with 25 fast-break points, compared to the Redhawks’ 13. That’s something that Golding emphasized to his team leading up to the game.
“We haven’t been getting those fast-break points, but we created some easier offense in the first half,” Golding said. “We thought tonight we would need to play a little faster, and it gave our guys the best chance to win.”
Sophomore forward Kolton Kohl was also a big factor in the Wildcats’ win as he finished with 10 points and four rebounds. Kohl gave the Wildcats an early push in the game with the first four points of the game.
Freshman guard DQ Nicholas kept the Redhawks in the game late, finishing with a game-high 21 points on 3-for-5 shooting and a perfect 14-for-14 from the free throw line.
The second half was controlled by the Wildcats, leading all 20 minutes. ACU led by as much as 19, but the Redhawks continued to push back and make it an eight point game on several occasions.
Up next, the Wildcats play Dallas Christian College (1-8) Saturday at 7 p.m. from the NCCAA (National Christian College Athletic Association). Meanwhile, SEMO heads to Des Moines, Iowa Saturday to battle with Drake (7-2) at 5 p.m.