ACU (2-1) defeated the McMurry Warhawks (0-2), 104-46, in their second game at Moody Coliseum on Tuesday night.
The Wildcats were able to obtain a 58-point win over McMurry, a Div. III opponent. ACU started out slow as McMurry led 11-10 with 14:14 to play in the first half before pulling away with a 54-16 second half win to secure their second win of the year.
“It is really a neat thing for us to do, if we’re going to play non-divisional games, we might as well play McMurry.” head coach Brette Tanner said. “I was not happy with the way we started. I didn’t think my starters were really ready to go, but after that I put some guys in the game that did a really good job.”
Guard JV Seat, freshman out of Edmond, Oklahoma, made his second appearance of the year as he was called into the game early playing a total of 11 minutes. He amounted to six points, three rebounds and one assist to play a pivotal bench role in the Wildcats success Tuesday night. Seat was a high-level scorer in high school as he won Gatorade Player of the Year in Oklahoma last year.
“JV Seat, I’ve been telling him to wait and be ready and the time will come,” Tanner said. “I put him in early tonight and the first thing he does is takes a charge. The way to get in the game early, is to play some defense and he did that right off the bat. That’s why I started him in the second half.”
Another highlight for ACU was the season debut of forward Joe Pleasant, senior from Overland Park, Kansas, who transferred from ACU to Wichita State last year and then came back to ACU in the offseason. Pleasant had been battling concussion protocol early this year but made his season debut when he checked in at the 3:11 mark for forward Leonardo Bettiol, redshirt freshman from Roncade, Italy.
The Wildcats were led by forward Cameron Steele, junior from Excelsior, Minnesota, going 5-6 from the field with 15 points. ACU was also led by guard Tobias Cameron, graduate student from Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. Cameron went 4-5 from the field with 11 points, and led the team with a total of seven rebounds. The Wildcats have struggled in the second half this season, being outscored in their first two games by a total of 25 points in the second half, but against McMurry, they were able to continue outscoring their opponent.
“The first two games we played, we blew the doors off early,” Tanner said.“We shot the ball really well, we did a lot of things and I thought when we came out at halftime, we settled. I told them at halftime that we are winning the first four minutes of the second half. That’s how we judge this game, and see if we did get better from the last game. We won the first four minutes 14-3. I was really proud of them for that.”
With only three games of the season already played, the Wildcats have plenty of the season left to go. Next week, ACU will head west to Las Vegas, Nevada to participate in the Vegas Four. Tanner’s team is taking on Wright State, Weber State and UC Riverside over three straight days. Tanner said the short run is a challenge and will be adjusting his lineup in the Vegas Four.
“We are playing really good teams in Las Vegas,” Tanner said. “Wright State just beat Louisville the other night, Weber State is really good and Riverside beats power five teams every year. We have to be better than we were to start tonight, if we’re not we are going to be in trouble. It is not about winning and losing this upcoming week, it is about being prepared for March.”
The Vegas Four will tip off against Wright State at 6:30 p.m. next Monday, Nov. 21 at the Dollar Loan Center and will stream live on FloHoops and the ACU Sports Network. The Raiders currently hold a record of 2-1 with a game against Defiance on Nov. 17 before they head to this tournament. The Wildcats will seek to improve their record to 3-1 on the season.