Four Wildcats scored in double-figures, as ACU (19-10, 14-4 SLC) held on against Central Arkansas for its seventh-consecutive win in conference play.
With their win Saturday, the Wildcats need two more wins or a loss from Nicholls (20-10, 14-5 SLC) Wednesday to clinch a double-bye in the Southland Conference Tournament.
Both teams failed to create separation on the scoreboard early, but the Wildcats would push away from the Bears (10-19, 9-9 SLC) later in the game.
“We didn’t get off to a good start, and that was a big key to the game,” head coach Joe Golding said. “You got to give [Central Arkansas] credit. They had a great game plan. The game was definitely different than the past two or three weeks.”
Junior center Kolton Kohl led the team in scoring, coming off the bench, with 15 points on 7-15 shooting. It’s his fourth-consecutive game scoring in double-figures.
Despite success on offense, Golding credited his defense for the big win, as ACU forced 27 turnovers.
“That was the difference in the game,” Golding said. “Nights when you don’t shoot the ball well, you got to be able to lock down, and get a stop. That’s what got us the win.”
Sophomore guard Damien Daniels made a positive impact on the court, committing three steals and scoring 12 points.
“My teammates tell me to keep shooting and they help me keep up my confidence,” Daniels said.
Later in the second half, ACU’s 21-point lead was trimmed to just three points on multiple occasions down the final stretch. However, the Wildcats would push through for the win.
Up next, the Wildcats face Stephen F. Austin, (26-3, 17-1 SLC) who are riding a 13-game win streak.
“They have an unbelievable program. We have a ton of respect for those guys and they beat us at their home. They’re not just one of the best teams in the mid-majors. They’re one of the best teams in the country.”