A 16-point lead for the Wildcats was quickly erased Wednesday night, but ACU (10-2, 2-0 SLC) pulled out its second conference win of the season, 66-63.
“We’ll always take road wins,” head coach Joe Golding said. “Things didn’t go right tonight, and we couldn’t find any rhythm offensively. Our guys showed a lot of character down the stretch, and that’s what the team needed.”
The Wildcats struggled to shoot from beyond the permitter, making just 14% of attempts.
“There’s going to be nights where guys just don’t make shots, that’s college basketball,” Golding said. “The 3-point shot didn’t fall for us tonight, but we still found a way to come out on top.”
With several missed shots from ACU, junior forward Joe Pleasant posted a career-high 13 rebounds and finished with 10 points on 5-for-15 shooting.
“It was good for us to face some adversity down the stretch,” Pleasant said. “It’s a good learning experience, but I think we need to take care of the ball a little better down the stretch.”
ACU led Houston Baptist (2-8, 1-1 SLC) 52-37 with 12:57 remaining in the second half, but the Huskies would ensue to go on a 19-3 run to retake the lead.
With eight seconds remaining, senior guard Reggie Miller drained two-consecutive free throws to extend the lead to three for the Wildcats. Miller would steal the ball on the ensuing possession as time expired. As a team, the Wildcats shot 9-for-11 from the charity stripe.
“I’ve never been worried about our free throw shooting,” Golding said. “They do what it takes to win games, and Reggie [Miller] had two big ones down the stretch.”
The Wildcats will have 10 days off before their next game due to COVID-19 regulations among opponents. ACU was originally scheduled to play TXAM-CC Saturday. Instead, they’ll face Southeastern Louisiana in Abilene Jan. 16.
“We’ll take some time off,” Golding said. “You have to with a break like this. I’m sure we’ll get some more breaks going forward with COVID.”