The Wildcats now have their first losing streak of the season, given by the hands of the Northern Colorado Bears, who beat the home team 70-58.
Both teams started off hot in the first half exchanging baskets back-and-forth, and by halftime, ACU was up 35-34.
Then in the second half, while the Bears continued to have the hot hand, the Wildcats struggled with converting their shot attempts, allowing Northern Colorado to extend their lead and take the win. ACU finished shooting 36 percent from the field and 32 percent from the 3-point line, while the Bears finished 48 percent and 36 percent, respectively.
“We didn’t shoot the ball well in our own gym that we work out in every day,” said head coach Julie Goodenough. “We let someone come in and shoot lights out, and on the other end our team did not make shots, and we can’t excuse ourselves for that.”
Another thing that impacted the Wildcats in their loss today was second-chance points. Despite both teams having 15 offensive rebounds apiece, the Bears led in the second-chance points category 19-9. The Wildcats’ struggle in converting their offensive rebounding squandered multiple opportunities for the team to cut down on the Bears lead and made the game out of reach.
Though the game ended in a loss of the Wildcats, Goodenough felt that her team did a lot of things well, but again, the problem arose in making shots.
“The two areas we actually did a good job in were making our free throws and not being careless with the ball,” Goodenough said. “We had plenty of opportunities to score and executed well without turning the ball over, we just got to figure out how to finish shots.”
Two Wildcats found themselves in double digits after the final buzzer rang on Sunday afternoon. First was redshirt junior center Sarah Griswold, who had her fourth double-digit showing in five games. Griswold finished with 11 points and led the team in rebounding with six of them.
Leading the Wildcats in scoring again with her seventh-straight double-digit performance was graduate transfer forward Jamie Bonnarens. She led the team with 18 points while shooting 47 percent from the field, all while tying Griswold with six rebounds.
After this game, Bonnarens hopes the team will grow and improve so that the team can be the best it can be heading into the quickly-approaching Western Athletic Conference play.
“We need to work on being smart with what we have personnel-wise,” Bonnarens said. “Also, we need to to work together more and run our offense. I’m expecting us to get our mojo back in our next game, and hopefully, we can realize what we can do leading into Christmas break and conference play.”
Up next, ACU plays its final non-conference game of the season against another team located in Abilene, the McMurry Warhawks. The team will hope to bounce back and learn from their mistakes in this next game, and try to earn one final win before Christmas and the start of conference play.
“I’ll be watching a lot of video trying to diagnose some things that didn’t go well today,” Goodenough said. “We allowed someone to come in and hit wide-open shots, our defense struggled and gave up some offensive rebounds in the paint that are hard to defend. So we’ll get to some video tonight and try to figure out how to get ready for our next opponent.
The two Big Country rivals will face off at the Teague Special Events Center on Tuesday at 1 p.m., with the game streaming live on ESPN+.