The Wildcats traveled to Tulsa, Oklahoma this past weekend taking on the Oral Roberts Eagles, where they fell 81-87.
ACU currently holds a 4-5 overall record, with an undefeated home record, 3-0, but has yet to gain a win on the road, 0-4. Oral Roberts on the other hand, has an overall record of 3-7 and is preparing to start conference play in the Summit League.
“We are doing a lot,” head coach Julie Goodenough said. “We are taking steps forward each week and we are showing a lot of grit and toughness. I thought last night was just super gritty. There was lots of good communication and lots of good hustle, so you know what you want them to achieve and that’s the result we’re working towards.”
In the first quarter, the Wildcats held a close front leading the Eagles 25-21. They went 9 for 20 from the field and held a 62.50 three-points made percentage, making 5-8 from distance. That was the last time the Wildcats had control of the game.
In the second half, ACU was not far behind, falling in the quarter, 22-23. After halftime, the Wildcats could not manage to bring back the momentum, falling in the third quarter, 13-20 and in the fourth quarter, 21-23.
“We’ve scored a ton of points on the road this week,” Goodenough said. “Which was really encouraging. So you know we’re really really close and those losses by one or two possessions, they’re the hardest. We know we’ve just got to tweak a few things and we’re so close.”
The Eagles held out against the Wildcats making 51.7% of their shots from the field and recording 90.5 percent of their free throws, with 100 percent made in the first three quarters. Yet, ACU also recorded 100% free throws made in the first two quarters and had an overall 43.4 percent shots made, but did not bring enough to take home a win.
Sophomore guard Aspen Thornton was the top scorer of the night for the Wildcats, totaling 26 points. The sophomore went 10-16 from the field and made 50% of her three-pointers. Graduate guard Madi Miller and graduate forward Maleeah Langstaff both had strong nights marking 11 points each. Miller went 2 for 2 on free throws and tallied six rebounds.
“Aspen Thornton, our starting point guard,” Goodenough said. “I think if you look back at our last three games, she’s just been really a constant offensive threat for us. She is willing to take big shots and she took a lot of hard hits but just topped up and kept going.”
Oral Roberts had two players of their own record over 20 points. Hannah Cooper and Tirzah Moore tallied 47 points between the two of them, making half of the overall points scored between the two of them. Moore went on and went 7 for 7 in shooting and Cooper made 8 out of 9 free throws, putting the Eagles on the upper ledge.
The Wildcats head back home for their next matchup and take on Nicholls for the chance to stay undefeated at home. Nicholls recently played New Mexico, receiving the loss 55-72, and holds a 3-5 overall record and a 0-3 away record, which the Wildcats plan to keep and run to 0-4.
“You really want to win your last couple of games before you go home,” Goodenough said. “So that’s going to be our focus and our challenge, to just stay locked in day after day and try to move our program forward.”
The Wildcats take on Nicholls on December 19 at 6 p.m. at home in Moody Coliseum, streaming live on ESPN+.