The Wildcats finished the season undefeated at home for the first time in Div. I history with an 85-60 win over Incarnate Word Saturday.
With the win and Sam Houston’s loss to Stephen F. Austin, ACU (21-4, 13-2 SLC) clinched a triple-bye and the 2-seed in the Southland Conference Tournament.
“I’m so proud of these guys; They’re so resilient,” said head coach Joe Golding. “We obviously have to get healthy and get some rest, but I like where our team is at headed to Katy.”
Senior guard Coryon Mason (ankle) remained out with an injury he suffered Wednesday at Stephen F. Austin. Junior forward Clay Gayman (concussion) missed his third-consecutive game.
Despite the injuries, Golding was impressed at his team’s ball movement and limiting turnovers with 13.
“We did a much better job at taking care of the basketball today,” Golding said. “I’m excited that we got back to that defensively. We’re getting Clay and Coryon back, and we’re really special when every piece is available.”
Senior center Kolton Kohl led the Wildcats with 14 points and eight rebounds.
“Our offense in inside-out, and starting the game off with two offensive rebounds was great,” said Kohl.
ACU also celebrated its senior class for the final game of the regular season. Because of COVID-19, all seniors would be eligible to return next season, but Golding isn’t worried about the uncertainty right now.
“We wanted to celebrate them,” Golding said. “They’ve shown tremendous leadership this year. If they come back, we’ll celebrate them again in a new facility. I’m really proud of them, and the effort they’ve displayed.”
The Wildcats will play again with a trip to the conference championship on the line Friday at 8 p.m. The game will be streaming on ESPN+, and ACU will face one of four possible teams: No. 3 Sam Houston State, No. 6 Lamar, No. 8 Southeastern Louisiana or No. 9 McNeese.