The ACU Women’s basketball team tipped off the season with a convincing 94-66 win over the Texas A&M International Dustdevils.
The Wildcats had no trouble running up the scoreboard, shooting 40 percent from downtown and 79 percent from the free throw line in Coach Julie Goodenough’s first game as head coach.
“The match-up was very good,” senior Emily Miller said. “Both of us are fast teams, we look to push the ball and kick for the three, but by the second half, I think that we were just in such better shape. They were tired towards the end.”
The game was close in the early goings, as both teams came out energized on offense and physical on defense.
Within the first ten minutes of play, neither team held more than a five point lead. Junior Renata Marquez scored on a layup to put the Wildcats up 34-25 with 6:28 left in the half. The Wildcats then exploded on a 17-9 run to conclude the first half with a 51-34 lead.
“I thought both teams were really ready to play and came out very sharp and played with great competitiveness,” Goodenough said. “We executed pretty well as far as distributing the ball and playing team basketball.”
The Dustdevils responded at the start of the second half, getting a couple of steals that led to easy layups and open threes. They were able to cut the deficit to eight in the first five minutes with a 55-47 score.
“We definitely need to work on our turnovers,” Marquez said. “We had a lot more than we needed which led to the other team having probably half of their points.”
The ‘Cats quickly took back control, bumping the lead back into double digits and never looked back. ACU’s engulfing defense held TAMI without a field goal for the last 5:51 of regulation, while the threes continued to fall for the Wildcat offense.
“Honestly, with the rate we were playing and as hard as we were working, I was confident that we would eventually pull away with a lead,” sophomore center Paige Parliament said.
ACU received significant contributions from Marquez, Kelsey Smith and Sadie Dickinson. Marquez was the top scorer with 18 points, along with eight rebounds and she went six for six from the charity strike. Smith added 13 points and seven boards, while Dickinson grabbed a career high 12 rebounds and added 16 points, including shooting three of six from the three point line.
“Everyone is great at looking for the open player if they don’t have a good shot which allows every person on the team to contribute in scoring,” Marquez said.
The Wildcats played Texas-Permian Basin Tuesday night, and will face off against West Texas A&M University on Wed. Nov. 28.
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