The Wildcats (11-11, 5-6) hosted Utah Valley (5-17, 2-9) in Moody Coliseum Monday afternoon, where redshirt freshman Addison Martin led them in securing the win, 73-46.
This is the second time these competitors have met this season with ACU also securing the win earlier in January, 71-50.
“This win was really important,” head coach Julie Goodenough said. “We get back on a winning track and we protect our home court. I’m just really proud of our team and we have created this reputation this year that they respond really well after a loss.”
ACU started off the game strong running on a seven-point run for the first three minutes. Utah Valley was able to close the score within three points at the six-minute mark in the first quarter but was not able to secure it, with the Wildcats leaving Utah Valley in a nine-point deficit going into the second quarter.
Starting the second, Utah Valley capitalized off of two free throws but sophomore guard Bella Earle shut it down by sinking a three-pointer. From then on, ACU held on to a significant lead, pulling ahead by 15 at the six-minute mark and then bringing it back with one minute left in the first half, going into the half ahead, 35-20.
“I felt like our offense was really flowing today,” Martin said. “We played a lot of team ball and that’s what we did and we came off with a win.”
Coming out of half, the Wildcats pulled ahead by even more by going on a seven-point run and putting Utah Valley in a 22-point deficit four minutes into the quarter. The fourth quarter followed the same format, with ACU shutting out Utah Valley and only allowing them to score 13 points, resulting in the end score, 73-46.
The Wildcat defense was able to hold back Utah Valley’s offense by not allowing them to score more than 13 points in any quarter. In the second quarter, they only scored nine points compared to the Wildcats’ 15 points.
“We anticipated to play against a lot of zone,” Goodenough said. “So we had an opportunity to run a lot of zone steps today. I felt like our players settled down and understood. So just being able to execute against the zone was really good.”
Martin led the Wildcats with a total of 20 points, shooting 10 for 12, with Earle and graduate forward Maleeah Langstaff behind her, tallying 11 each. ACU recorded 47 rebounds, which is the most in a Western Athletic Conference game this season. The Wildcats also tallied 15 offensive rebounds. Earle and graduate guard Madi Miller both tallied eight rebounds with Langstaff and Martin gaining six each.
The Wildcats next host California Baptist at 6 p.m. Thursday in Moody Coliseum, streaming on ESPN+ and ACU Sports Network.
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