Though it took extra minutes, ACU snapped its two-game losing streak on Saturday facing Lamar on the road, 76-65.
In the first half, the Wildcats started hot from the 3-point line and reduced their turnovers going into halftime. Then at the start of the third quarter, ACU played well and took a 16-point lead over the Cardinals. Midway through the third that continued into the end of the game, Lamar went on a run of their own and tied the game, sending the game to overtime.
The Wildcats took over in overtime, shooting 80 percent from the field and 75 percent from the 3-point line while holding Lamar to 25 percent shooting from the field. By the end of overtime, ACU outscored Lamar 15-4.
Heading into overtime, head coach Julie Goodenough felt positive and had a strong feeling that her team would win.
“At the end of regulation, I sort of got this calming feeling that we were about to win the game,” said Goodenough. “Our players were phenomenal; they were shot ready, got rebounds and kept Lamar at one shot per possession. I’m really proud of how our players played with confidence.”
After struggling in the past few games, senior guard Anna McLeod got on a roll offensively. She led all scorers with 28 points, which tied her career-high in scoring. McLeod did this while shooting 53 percent from the field and 50 percent from the 3-point line. McLeod also set a new career-high in rebounding with 11 rebounds.
“Anna was just tremendous,” said Goodenough.”She is a really good shooter and a scoring threat off the dribble. She has had a lot of physical defense against her in every conference game. I’m really proud of her toughness and being shot ready.”
Also setting a new career-high of her own was sophomore guard Kamryn Mraz. After struggling against Lamar in the Wildcats’ first matchup, Mraz scored 19 points on 44 percent shooting from the field and making four 3-pointers. She also led the team in assists this game with five.
“I can’t tell you enough about her,” said Goodenough.”Even though she had eight turnovers today, she was not careless with the basketball. She had to fight with the defense the length of the floor and create our offense, all while setting a new career-high. She showed a lot of toughness as well today.”
After struggling with perimeter offense in the past few games, ACU was finally able to find its rhythm on Saturday. The Wildcats finished the game shooting 47 percent from the 3-point line, with most of those threes coming at crucial points at the end of regulation or in overtime.
The team’s 3-point shooting was something that Goodenough has focused on during practices.
“We have some really good shooters on our team, but over the last couple of games, they have hesitated to shoot,” said Goodenough. “A point of emphasis for us is if a teammate gets you open, we need you to shoot the ball. We have struggled with that, but they were all ready to shoot, they had confidence and they did not hesitate.”
ACU hopes to expand this win into a winning streak on the road Wednesday as they head to Houston Baptist. The game will tip-off at 6:30 p.m. and will be broadcast live on 102.7 F.M., The Bear.
“Being able to win on the road in overtime was really good for our team,” said Goodenough.”It showed a lot of growth and maturity. Heading into Houston to play on Wednesday, I think our team will have some confidence that we can win big road games.”