The Wildcats led 36-35 with just under seven minutes to play, challenging No. 17 Texas Tech at home Wednesday night.
The Red Raiders would inevitably grab their fifth win of the season, but it was a much more challenging matchup than most anticipated.
“They believe in being aggressive,” head coach Chris Beard said. “They didn’t say, ‘Hey, we’re fouling too much, let’s try another defense.’ They kept throwing it right at us. They gave us all we could handle tonight.”
ACU (5-1) held Texas Tech (5-1) to just 28% shooting, it’s lowest shooting performance in nearly six years.
“We knew going in it was two really good defensive teams,” head coach Joe Golding said. “We did a great job defensively in the first half, and we stayed in the game because of our defense.”
The Red Raiders made only four field goals in the second half, as majority of their points came from the free throw line in the final 20 minutes.
“We’re not going to quit,” Golding said. “This defense is not going to quit; it’s who we are. We’ve got a mature team that is resilient and pushed one of the best teams in the country to a one or two-possession game.”
Senior guard Coryon Mason led the way on offense with 14 points on 5-for-8 shooting, and the Wildcats shot 36%.
Despite scoring four more field goals than the Red Raiders, Texas Tech outscored ACU 19 points at the free throw line.
Up next, Texas Tech faces another Southland Conference opponent, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Saturday at 1 p.m. The Wildcats will look to avenge their first loss of the year Saturday versus McMurry at 1 p.m. The game will be streaming live on ESPN+.
“This team is fun to coach. I’ve had more fun with this team than any other team,” Golding said. “They’re protecting the culture, and I look forward to continuing the journey with them.”