ACU dominated the paint at home and remained undefeated with a win Thursday against Div. III Mary-Hardin Baylor, 95-49.
Though the Wildcats had some early troubles with scoring and defense, they started to get on a roll and find their groove. ACU (5-0) took control in the second quarter, outscoring the Crusaders by 19 points. From there, the Wildcats were in control and shut down the Crusaders’ offense.
Leading ACU in scoring this game was senior forward Alyssa Adams, who brought in her fourth career double-double. Adams scored 21 points and brought in 12 rebounds alongside one rebound, assist and block.
Adams said that the team working together allowed for success against Mary-Hardin Baylor.
“The team really helped me tonight,” said Adams, “by being really encouraging and giving me the ball when I was wide open. They made sure to help me be in the right position to score, and when I could not do anything with it in the post, they were out there ready for the ball so that I could pass it out to them.”
The Wildcats had to make some offensive adjustments throughout the game. ACU struggled with shooting from the 3-point line, with only seven made shots in this game. Rather, the bulk of the Wildcats offense came from opportunities in the paint. ACU scored 52 points in the paint, which came from good ball movement and offensive rebounding.
“On a night where our 3-pointers weren’t falling,” said head coach Julie Goodenough. “we did a good job of post-feeding and driving in the paint for lay-ups. Also, with offensive rebound putbacks and drives into the paint. So it was really good to see us score and different ways.”
Senior guard Anna McLeod was also a factor with 18 points, four rebounds and three assists. Junior guard Madi Miller finished with 1o points, five assists and three steals. Freshman guard Taylor Morgan also scored in double digits with 10 points.
The Wildcats forced 24 turnovers while also stealing the ball from May-Hardin Baylor 17 times. They also outrebounded the Crusaders defensively 33-23.
Similar to ACU’s last win against Northern Colorado, deflecting the ball and causing turnovers led to many more offensive opportunities in transition.
“We got several defensive stops that turned into good offensive,” said Goodenough. “Whether that be getting a deflection or getting a strong defensive rebound and pushing the ball in transition. Our players also did a good job being aggressive and going after rebounds, so that was good to see.”
The Wildcats’ biggest test of the season comes Sunday against No. 10 Texas A&M in College Station. The game will start at 5:00 p.m. and will be broadcasting live on the SEC Network.
“We got to address some defensive lapses that we have had over the past few games,” said Goodenough. We are playing the number 10 team in the country, so we will get scored on if we are not exactly where we’re supposed to be. But our game plan will be no different than the last five. We’re going to go on the road, and we’re going to try to win a ball game.