ACU’s record is no longer unblemished after falling to the Kansas State Wildcats on Tuesday in Manhattan, Kan., 93-53.
The closest the game was when ACU was up 3-2 early in the first quarter. Then, its opponents in the purple and white went on an 18-0 run and finished the quarter shooting 62 percent from the field and a 31-5 lead. Which, according to head coach Julie Goodenough, made the game out of reach.
“When you play a good team like that, you can’t get down in the first quarter,” Goodenough said. “After that, we started to execute offensively and started playing tougher defensively and made them earn their baskets, but we had a really bad first quarter.”
After the first quarter, the Wildcats were able to play alongside K-State but were never able to overcome the 25-point first-quarter deficit. ACU finished the night shooting 28 percent from the field and 22 percent from the 3-point line, while their Big 12 opponent finished shooting 51 percent from the field and 35 percent from deep.
Defensively, besides K-State running ACU off the 3-point line, they held the advantage in turnovers. By the end of Tuesday night, the Wildcats caused ACU to commit 17 turnovers while they only had seven of their own. K-State also led in points off of turnovers, 23-6.
One of the only bright spots for the Wildcats in their road matchup was graduate transfer forward Jaime Bonnarens. She was the only Wildcat in double figures with 16 points all while shooting 50 percent from the field. Bonnarens also led the team with seven rebounds, and also hopes that after this game, this team will focus on starting stronger from tip-off.
“We play really hard, but the first quarter we really dug ourselves into a hole,” Bonnarens said. “So now, we really need to start working on coming out of the gate hot and fighting. Tonight was our first real struggle, so after seeing that now we can start making adjustments for our future games.”
Next, the Wildcats head to Tulsa, Okla. for the ORU Thanksgiving Tournament. Though they will not be facing the host Oral Roberts, they rather will be two teams from Arkansas, Little Rock and Arkansas State.
“We’re going to play a couple of teams that are very athletic in every position, so we got to be disciplined,” Goodenough said. “We’ll need to execute well in order to get high percentage shots and not have many live-ball turnovers like we did tonight .”
The Wildcats will aim for their first road win of the season against the Little Rock Trojans on Nov. 27 with an 11 a.m. tip-off. The game will also be broadcasting live on 102.7 F.M. The Bear.