Fans in Teague Center held their breaths on Saturday as the matchup between the Wildcats and the Sugar Bears came down to the wire.
With 0.8 seconds left and the game tied, junior guard Madi Miller dribbled through defenders and hit a circus shot, giving the Wildcats a 60-58 win.
“I was so proud of our players for playing with composure,” said head coach Julie Goodenough. “UCA got some momentum towards the end, but our players stuck with the game plan and played solid and disciplined. We tied the game up, and I was proud of Madi for keeping the ball in her hand and scoring the winning bucket.”
Leading up to Miller’s game-winning shot, several other Wildcats made plays that allowed ACU to stay in the game.
Some key plays were made by senior forward Alyssa Adams, who led both teams in scoring with 22 points, including a layup with 90 seconds left to cut UCA’s lead. Senior guard Anna McLeod struck next, making her first 3-pointer of the game to give the Wildcats a one-point lead with 54 seconds remaining.
Sophomore guard Kamryn Mraz also played a huge role in ACU’s win. She set a new career-high with 17 points while shooting 50 percent from the field. Mraz also had a career-high four 3-pointers.
“The player we are most proud of is Kam,” said Goodenough. “She had a bad game against Sam Houston, so she heard about it from the coaches and talked a lot about her mistakes. For her to come back the way she played today — fearless and unafraid to make a mistake — tells a lot about her character.”
Mraz credited the team’s success today with not dwelling on bad plays and playing as a team.
“It came down to getting stop after stop, and whenever something didn’t go our way, we had to bounce back,” said Mraz. “We did a good job playing together as a unit and communicating with each other on the court. I was really proud of how we picked each other up and encouraged each other.”
ACU improved both offense and defense in this game versus their game against Sam Houston. They shot 46 percent from the field and 43 percent from the 3-point line.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats held the Sugar Bears to 43 percent shooting from the field and 25 percent from the 3-point line on the defensive end.
“We had a lot of people contribute today offensively,” said Goodenough. “We got some good post feeds inside and some good layups, and we had all-around good offensive effort. Defensively, we might have had our best defensive game of the year.”
ACU now prepares one of their toughest conference matchups at home against Stephen F. Austin. The Ladyjacks head into Wednesday undefeated in conference play, winning all their games by extensive margins. The game will tip-off at 5:30 p.m. and will stream live on ESPN+.