The Wildcats hosted Southern Utah for their second game in their home-court stretch, receiving the loss, 72-74.
ACU recently played Tarleton this past Saturday, which it resulted in a close win for the Wildcats, 69-63. This loss puts ACU at 1-2 in the Western Athletic Conference play and a 9-7 overall record.
Southern Utah also recently played Tarleton this past Thursday, in which they lost a close game, 65-68. The Thunderbirds hold a 2-1 conference record and a 10-6 overall record, putting their competition not too far ahead of the Wildcats.
“We shot really well from the freethrow line,” head coach Brette Tanner said. “We got there a good number of times and you know, offensively, we did not shoot the ball great for the floor but we got a lot of shots because we turned them over.”
The first half was a close battle but the Wildcats were able to pull out in front by five points, 30-25. Yet, Southern Utah pulled out 10 of their 20 shots made from the field while ACU also made 10 of their shots, but out of 36 chances. Despite falling behind in those shots, the Wildcats proved themselves in free throws, making six for six, while the Thunderbirds made five for 12.
Tanner explains how when they played their game, they got exactly what they wanted but they failed to see their game in the second half.
“In the first half we played our game and the game we want to play,” Tanner said.” The problem was is that in the second half, we allowed them to play at their pace and when they played their pace, they got to the freethrow line.”
Coming out of the half, both teams were looking for a chance to take the win. Both teams turned up the competition and showed it in their shots. The Wildcats made 15 for 27 shots from the field while Southern Utah made 14 for 23. Yet, the Wildcats found themselves falling short when it came to three-pointers. ACU made one for seven three-pointers, while the Thunderbirds secured four out of five attempted shots. This led Southern Utah to take the second half, 49-42, and overall taking the win, 74-72.
This game was a high-scoring game for several Wildcats players, with six players scoring in double digits. Junior forward Cameron Steele led the Wildcats with 16 points and went six for eight in shooting. ACU forced 21 turnovers for the second game in a row, but this is the first time all season the Wildcats lost when forcing more than 20 turnovers.
The Wildcats head on the road to take on the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley Wednesday at 6:30 in Edinburg, streaming on ESPN+.