ACU earned its third win of the season during Kids Day on Wednesday afternoon, taking down Angelo State, 88-53.
Present for the Wildcats’ win were hundreds of kids from elementary schools all across the Abilene community, and as head coach Julie Goodenough noticed, brought unique energy into the Teague Center.
“It’s always fun to play at home, but it was a very interesting game with hundreds and hundreds of kids here,” Goodenough said. “It’s loud from the get-go, and they get excited when we scored and ASU scored. It was interesting mentally getting ready for the game there was such a different crowd and a lot of distractions, but I’m proud of the players since they did some good things today.”
The Wildcats continued their strong defensive showing against the Rambelles causing ASU to turn the ball over 20 times, giving ACU 22 points off of those turnovers.
They regained their rhythm from the 3-point line against the Rambelles, making 16 3-points while shooting 42 percent from behind the arch. The team also shot 47 percent from the field, made 15 field goals and shot 90 percent from the free-throw line.
“The defense can’t take away everything, so if we can score in the paint, we do that, and if it is clogged up it opens up the perimeter,” Goodenough said “If there is pressure on the perimeter we aim to drive and score in the paint. Our players did a nice job of reading the defense and understanding where our shots were going to come from.”
Leading the Wildcats offensively in her second-straight double-digit performance was graduate transfer guard Tatum Barber. She finished the afternoon scoring 16 points, plus adding four rebounds and two assists.
With the Wildcats on a three-game winning streak, Barber feels confident about the momentum the team has been building, specifically with some tough matchups coming up on the schedule.
“The momentum that we have earned will definitely carry us, especially with some of the opponents we have coming up,” Barber said. “This game help us gain the momentum that we needed, and I really think it’s going to help us through the rest of the season.”
Sophomore guard Taylor Morgan also had a strong performance for the Wildcats. Coming off the bench, Morgan scored 13 points with three assists and two rebounds. Though coming off the bench might not be every player’s favorite role, Morgan said she tries to take advantage of the opportunity she does have.
“I try to bring in as much energy as I can off the bench just so I can give a little spark to our team,” Morgan said. “So, that has been really fun to me.”
Now, the Wildcats will hit the road with their next few games. Starting Thanksgiving week, the Wildcats will head to Kansas to face off against Big 12 team, Kansas State. Then on Thanksgiving weekend, they head to Arkansas for the ORU Thanksgiving Tournament facing the University of Arkansas-Little Rock and Arkansas State.
“It will be great to see how our team will respond and play while being in some else’s gym and while traveling,” Goodenough said. “Next week will be a good challenge for us to see where the team is. The next couple of days we need to focus on areas of improvement, and I want the team to want to move forward every day and not be satisfied.”
ACU heads to Manhattan, Kan. to play Kansas State on Tuesday, Nov. 23. The game will tip-off at 6:30 p.m., with the game broadcasting live on 102.7 FM The Bear.