The Wildcats continued their winning ways in Beaumont Saturday, defeating the Lamar Cardinals, 75-49.
Early in the game, the Wildcats struggled both offensively and defensively. In the first quarter, the Wildcats shot 27% from the field and turned the ball over seven times. Lamar had their troubles as well, allowing the Wildcats to come out of the first quarter only trailing 17-14.
Despite these struggles, things turned around for the Wildcats starting midway through the second quarter. The Wildcats went on a 13-2 run and gained much-needed confidence seen throughout the rest of the game.
Strong defense turned into strong offense, where the Wildcats held the Lady Cardinals to seven points in the quarter and improved their shooting percentage to 44% from the field.
“We were solid on defense and got defensive stops and it turned into early offense for us,” said Head Coach Julie Goodenough. “We were able to score before they could set up in their half-court defense, so really, our defensive effort is what spurred on our offense.”
In the second half, the Wildcats continued to extend their ever-growing lead against Lamar. The third quarter started on a 13-0 run in the Wildcats’ favor, which allowed the team to take and maintain control until the final buzzer. The Wildcats’ man defense held the Lady Cardinals to 25% shooting from the field and generated seven steals.
“I think we were trying to focus on defense this game,” said senior guard Breanna Wright. “Honestly, we let that take over our whole focus for a while. Once we got settled in for the game, we knew we could do what we always do and just settle down and score the way we know.”
Four Wildcats finished the game in double figures, displaying the depth of the team. Junior guard Anna McLeod and junior forward Alyssa Adams scored 14 points apiece, along with many other contributions on both ends of the floor.
Senior guard Dominique Golightly followed her career-high game with 18 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals. Senior guard Breanna Wright led all scorers with 19 points but also brought in 10 rebounds and four assists.
“I think we have great team chemistry, and that really helps,” said Wright, “Just wanting to make the extra pass and having good team ball. We looked to get our teammates open, and it’s always helpful when your teammates are looking for you. We had a lot of great back-doors, a lot of great cuts off ball-screens and just had teammates call for the ball and ready to pass.”
The Wildcats are returning home on Wednesday, taking on the bottom Southland Conference seed, Houston Baptist Huskies. The game starts at 5:30 p.m. and will be live on ESPN+.
“We’ve got another big week coming up, one game at home followed by one game on the road, said Coach Goodenough, “Tomorrow will be about recovery, and Monday and Tuesday we’ll learn about Houston Baptist and get prepared to win another game on Wednesday.”