Despite struggling in the second-half on Wednesday, the Wildcats came out on top against the Houston Baptist Huskies, 71-54.
In the first half, the Wildcats started strong and maintained that status through the rest of the half. Defensively, the Wildcats applied pressure to the Huskies offense, causing the Huskies to shoot 33% from the field and 3-point range. Their defense also caused nine Huskie turnovers and generated six steals for the Wildcats.
The Wildcats had the hot hand all first half, shooting 50% from the field and 48% from the 3-point line.
Even when the Wildcats found themselves in foul trouble, players off the bench continued to keep the team’s offense and defense going. This included junior guard Josie Larson’s halftime buzzer-beater and sophomore forward Diamond Willcot’s trips to the free-throw line.
“When players’ numbers get called, we expect them to be ready to go,” said Head Coach Julie Goodenough. “Our bench served a good purpose for us today.”
Though the Wildcats entered halftime with the momentum, the third quarter caused several problems to surface.
The Wildcats hot hand turned cold, plus Houston Baptist’s slightly improved defense caused a season-low six points in the quarter. The Wildcats also turned the ball over seven times in the quarter, which served as another source of problems.
“The third quarter was an offensive debacle,” said Goodenough. “We did not read the defense well. We had careless turnovers and had the same open looks from the 3-point line, we just did not knock them down. We did not handle our lead very well heading into the third quarter.”
At the start of the fourth quarter, the Wildcats were still struggling on both ends of the floor. So much so that Houston Baptist had cut the Wildcats’ lead to six points.
However, that all changed towards the middle of the fourth quarter. The Wildcats found their stride and made plays and a run to finish the game strong.
One spark during that run was senior forward Lexie Ducat, who scored 14 on top of eight rebounds.
Another player who played a significant role in this run was senior guard Breanna Wright. Following her double-double against Lamar, Wright led all players with 20 points and brought in six rebounds, six assists and three steals.
“We love getting three-pointers, and they weren’t falling,” said Wright. “That’s when we needed to get our looks inside to our post. We worked on inside-out feeds, so that was also another good opportunity to get more outside looks and feed the posts.”
The Wildcats will play their first of three straight road games on Saturday, facing off against Texas A&M Corpus Christi. The rematch with the Islanders starts at 1 p.m. and will be broadcasting live on 98.1 F.M.
“Our destiny is really in our hands,” said Goodenough. “The teams that are ahead of us right now, we get to play all of them over again. So we just have to take care of business, and take this one day at a time.”