The women’s basketball team faced off against longtime rival West Texas A&M on Tuesday night in Moody Coliseum. The game was close down the stretch, but the Wildcats were able to take the game 69-60, and move to 15-3 on the season, while WTAM fell to 11-10.
“We all plan to continue to work together, work hard and never take our opponents for granted and just continue to believe in each other,” said Shannon Saunders.
The ‘Cats were slow out of the gate, falling behind early and having to play catch up for the majority of the first half. Junior Mack Lankford and sophomore Paige Parliament kept ACU in the game, as Lankford buried three three-pointers in the first half, and Parliament added several rebounds and hustle plays.
“We need to focus on staying aggressive on defense, force turnovers, reduce our opponent’s rebounds and continue to pull together as a team,” Saunders said.
The second half continued to be close, as both teams had increased emphasis on defense. A three point make by Sadie Dickinson gave the Wildcats a 62-52 lead with 1:07 left.
“We started off poorly but we came together towards the end which is what matters,” Head Coach Julie Goodenough said. “One of our main focuses was making sure we slowed down the point production from White and Griffin.”
Over the weekend, the Wildcats took on Angelo State and came away with the win, 74-65 as the Lady ‘Cats held on after almost losing an 18-point lead.
“I feel we played really good defense,” Saunders said. “We caused twenty one turnovers which allowed us to build a good lead.”
The Rams caught fire in the late going, cutting the Wildcat lead to three with two minutes left in the game.
With 45 seconds left in the game, Dickinson drew a charge which gave the ball back to the Wildcats with a 68-65 lead. A converted layup off a hard drive by Lankford secured the win for the Lady ‘Cats, as they took ahold of a 70-65 lead with 20 seconds remaining.
“Our team stepped it up, and knocked down some big shots,” Saunders said. “Mack’s steal and layup was huge and then Newman’s free throws put us over the top.”
A moment of silence was observed before the game in respect to the loss of Lindsey Smith and those who were injured in the car accident on Friday night. The Wildcats next game will be on the road against Eastern New Mexico. ACU won the last meeting against the Greyhounds, 74-56.
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