The Wildcats headed to Stephenville this past week taking on Tarleton for the start of the Western Athletic Conference play, resulting in a Wildcat win, 61-43.
ACU and Tarleton both came into this matchup with a 6-5 overall record, but Tarleton held an undefeated record at home so far this season, making the Wildcats break the streak.
The Wildcats went into this game with a two-game winning streak, securing the wins against Nicholls and McMurry with hefty margins.
ACU got off to an early start when they went on an 8-0 run to start the first quarter and finished the quarter with a 20-12 lead. Freshman forward Addison Martin brought the pressure on early, holding six out of those eight early points.
Despite ACU holding its lead in the first quarter, Tarleton was not going to stay far behind. In the second quarter, both teams managed to tally 13 points each, closing in the gap between teams. Going into halftime, the Wildcats led 33-25 and knew they had to come back out on top to keep the lead.
Both teams came out of halftime ready to fight, but the third quarter turned into a fight of the defense. ACU only scored nine points while Tarleton secured only four, making this quarter significantly lower than the other three quarters. In the first five minutes of the third, the Wildcats held a 4-2 lead and were able to hold the low margin for the rest of the quarter.
With the low-scoring and strong defensive strategies from both sides in the third quarter, the fourth quarter turned back around and gained offensive highs from both sides. The Wildcats were able to capitalize off of two turnovers from Tarleton to get the head start. Graduate guard Madi Miller and sophomore guard Bella Earle both secured three-pointers to bring the Wildcats up 19-14 at the end of the fourth, leading them to secure the overall win, 61-43.
ACU had an overall strong defensive game but their offensive strategies were not far behind. Earle recorded 12 points while Martin and sophomore forward Aspen Thornton each tallied 10 points, holding half of the Wildcat’s points between those three.
The Wildcats stay on the road for their second conference play game against Stephen F. Austin Saturday at 2 p.m. at William R. Johnson Coliseum in Nacogdoches, streaming live on ESPN+.
Quotes from head coach Julie Goodenough will be added following Monday’s press conference.