It took overtime on Saturday for the Wildcats to secure a 76-69 win against the University of Incarnate Word.
“I’m extremely proud of this team,” said head coach Julie Goodenough, “and tying for second place in the conference represents how hard they have worked ever since this season started in June.”
With the victory, The Wildcats secured a 3-seed in the Southland Conference Tournament.
Leading the way for ACU in scoring was senior guard Breanna Wright. Wright made many crucial plays down the stretch. She not only brought in 23 points for the Wildcats, but also added six rebounds, five assists and one steal.
“Breanna is the best player in the conference and holds our team together game after game,” said Goodenough.
There were three other players on ACU’s roster that found themselves in double figures in this game besides Wright.
Senior guard Dominique Golightly followed her career-high night with 15 points along with seven rebounds and one steal. Senior forward Lexie Ducat had another strong game for the Wildcats, scoring 12 points with seven rebounds, one assist and one steal.
The final Wildcat in double figures was junior guard Anna McLeod. Despite her foul trouble, McLeod scored 18 points for ACU and added four rebounds and four assists to her totals.
Three of her points came at the most critical point and the turning point of the game. Her made 3-point shot with three seconds left in regulation sent the Wildcats and Cardinals to overtime. That shot seemed to give the Wildcats momentum and allowed them to take control for the rest of the game.
“We have to figure out how to keep Anna out of foul trouble,” said Goodenough. “I believe that she could score 20 most nights. When she tied the game to send it into overtime, I just knew we would win. That 3-point shot deflated the other team. We are 2-0 in overtime this season and have had great focus in those extra periods.”
On the offensive side, the Wildcats didn’t shoot as well as they have in previous games. ACU shot only 40% from the field and 32% from the 3-point line.
But where the offense struggled, the Wildcats made up for in their defense. The University of Incarnate Word only shot 32% from the field and 36% from 3-point range, while also causing 11 turnovers.
ACU starts its Southland Tournament run on Friday against the winner of Nicholls and Incarnate Word. The game will tip-off in Katy at 1:30 p.m. and will be broadcasting live on ESPN+.
“We are super excited about it being tournament time,” said Goodenough. “We’ll go hard early in the week then taper off to have legs under us on Friday. We know how to win playing Friday, Saturday and Sunday because we did it last year.”