Coming off a three-game road trip, the Wildcats lost their second straight game to the Incarnate Word Cardinals, 71-70.
The Wildcats trailed majority of the game but made an impressive comeback late in fourth quarter, including a clutch three pointer from senior guard Breanna Wright. However, the Wildcats fell short after committing a foul on the Cardinals with a second left.
“We were lackadaisical on defense, and we never started playing good defense until the fourth quarter,” Coach Julie Goodenough said. “We just didn’t have the defensive intensity that we needed. Incarnate Word shot the ball really well and we never elevated our level of play to match theirs.”
The Wildcats struggled on the defensive side, allowing the Cardinals to shoot 55 percent from 3-point range, which is the highest from any opponent this season.
They also struggled offensively, shooting 41 percent from the field and 35 percent from 3-point range. Wright and junior forward Makayla Mabry took on the scoring load and knocking down six 3-pointers a piece.
“This was a game that we really needed at home and for us to be that relaxed on defense, it just wasn’t good,” Goodenough said. “We didn’t read the defense well. We were passing the ball straight into their hands.”
This season, the Wildcats rank number one in scoring margin, scoring offense and field goal percentage in the Southland Conference. They’re also first in 3-point field goal defense.
“It’s hard to play solid defense if you don’t have constant communication,” Goodenough said. “At this level teams don’t stand around. There are pieces staying alert and moving around. We only have to play defense for 30 seconds so we have to mentally stay locked in.”
The Wildcats will host the Northwestern State Lady Demons on Wednesday, as they continue conference play.
“We have some soul searching to do,” Goodenough said. “When you get to conference play, you don’t have a lot of time to pout about what just happened. We are going to be watching a lot of film and figure out what are game plan is for Wednesday’s game.”