The Wildcats (4-3) returned to winning after a five day break on Friday, defeating the Alabama State Hornets (0-6) 78-67 in Moody Coliseum.
The Wildcats 11-point win was spearheaded by the starting five. In the Friday night matchup, each of them scoring in double digits. The starting five included:
- Graduate guard Madi Miller; 17 points, six rebounds and three assists
- Graduate forward Maleeah Langstaff; 16 points, six rebounds and three blocks
- Sophomore guard Bella Earle; 15 points, two rebounds, 5-5 shooting from the field and 3-3 shooting from the 3-point line
- Sophomore forward Addison Martin; 12 points, nine rebounds and three blocks
- Sophomore guard Aspen Thornton; 10 points, three rebounds and two assists
These performances impressed head coach Julie Goodenough, and allowed her to play multiple players on her roster.
“They did what your starters do,” Goodenough said. “They went out, got us a good lead, and made it possible for everybody on the roster to play. They had a really good defensive effort as well in that game. Plus, for the most part, everybody was really shot ready.”
As for the game itself, the game stayed closed throughout the first quarter with Alabama State earning a early 19-16 lead. But from that point on, the Wildcats took over.
The Wildcats outscored the Hornets in the second quarter 22-10, while also outscoring them 26-16 in the third quarter. In these quarters, ACU shot and 56 percent and 60 percent from the field while holding the Hornets 33 percent and 39 percent in the same quarters.
Looking back that the matchup, Goodenough praised her team for being locked in, and how they were not afraid to shoot the ball.
“I really credit our players with just really being locked in, focused on what we needed to do to be successful,” Goodenough said. “We didn’t turn down open shots. We shared the ball a lot and got the ball to players that had really great shots. So overall, I’m really, really pleased with that game.”
Though Alabama State outscored ACU by eight points, the gap was already too big, and ACU took home the important win. By the end of the game, the Wildcats finished shooting 48 from the field while adding 13 3-pointers, a season high for the team. With the team averaging 10 made 3-pointers in the last three game, Goodenough said she is glad the team’s focus on shooting from the perimeter is paying off.
“Our players put a lot of extra time shooting three point shots,” Goodenough said. “I’m not the smartest coach in the world, but I do know that threes add up faster than twos. It’s something that we try to hang our hat on, plus we’ve got great shooters in our program. It’s something that we look for and it’s it’s starting to click a little bit for us now.”
For their next matchup, the Wildcats hope to earn their first true road win of the season against the New Mexico Lobos (4-4). The Lobos are fresh off a 77-60 loss to the University of Arizona Wildcats. Led by a veteran roster, Goodenough knows her young team has a huge challenge ahead, but is excited how her team will face it.
“We’re excited about it, but it’s going to be a huge challenge for us,” Goodenough said. “They’ll they’ll finish in the top two in the Mountain West Conference this year. It will be a big challenge for us but I think our our team is locked in and they’re ready to get our prep all together to take on the road.”
The Wildcats and the Lobos begin their first ever matchup at the Division I level at Wednesday at 8 p.m. with the game streaming live on the Mountain West Network and ACU Sports Network.