ACU’s problem with turnovers continued on Wednesday as they fell on the road to Stephen F. Austin, 82-55.
At the beginning of the game, the Wildcats started with an early lead in the first quarter and stayed close with Stephen F. Austin throughout the first half.
But in the third quarter, the Ladyjacks outscored the Wildcats 23-9 to take a commanding lead, primarily due to ACU’s turnovers. The Wildcats tried to cut the lead in the fourth quarter, but SFA had all the momentum down the stretch, ending with Ladyjacks out on top.
“In the second half, we had way too many careless turnovers,” said head coach Julie Goodenough. “Defensively, we really didn’t do a good job in the second half keeping the ball out of the paint. Our players competed and followed through with our game plan, but the live-ball turnovers were too much for us to overcome.”
The Wildcat’s turnovers were one of the most significant factors to their loss on Wednesday. By the end of the night, ACU finished with 25 turnovers, with most of those coming in the second half. The Ladyjacks scored 23 points off ACU’s turnovers while also giving them extra possessions to figure out ACU’s defense.
Leading ACU offensively was junior guard Paige Emborsky. She finished with a season-high 18 points on Wednesday night while shooting 75 percent from the 3-point line. She also accounted for six of the eight 3-pointers ACU made against SFA.
“Paige is a tremendous 3-point shooter,” Goodenough said. “She was really shot ready in this game and made big shots for us. I could not have scripted the way we started this game better, and she played a big part in that.”
Emborsky credited her performance to being shot ready on Wednesday night.
“I tried my best come into this game being shot ready,” Emborsky said. “We had some new offensive sets in this game that required us to be shot ready. So between me and whoever else was shooting, we had to be ready to shoot, and we did that really well in the first half.”
After a tough stretch, senior forward Alyssa Adams finished the game with 14 points and lead the Wildcats in rebounds with seven. Tied in rebounding with Adams was senior guard Anna McLeod, who finished the night with 10 points.
Despite the loss, ACU has clinched a bid to the Southland Tournament. Right now, they sit at the ninth seed for the tournament.
ACU has one more final tuneup before they head to Katy on Saturday. After numerous postponements and cancelations, ACU will finally face the University of Incarnate Word for Senior Day. Action will start at the Teague Center at 1 p.m. with the game broadcasting live on ESPN+ and 102.7 F.M., The Bear.
“We got to somehow rally and get this win on Saturday so we can have some momentum heading into the conference tournament,” Goodenough said. “Over the next couple of days, we’ll prepare for Incarnate for the first time, which is kind of weird. But our players always bounce back every time we lose and come back to practice ready to learn, so we fully anticipate that over the next couple of days.”