The men’s basketball team kept their postseason dreams alive by outlasting Angelo State on the road 59-56.
The Wildcats fought through significant foul trouble in the first half as guards Eric Lawton, Elliott Lloyd and Parker Wentz tallied early fouls.
The bench brigade of Caleb Carr and T.J. Brown gave the Wildcats solid minutes in the first half and kept ACU in striking distance going into half time.
“Caleb is a kid that has worked hard every day in practice and hasn’t gotten a ton of opportunities yet this year,” head coach Joe Golding said. “Caleb played eight minutes in the first half, had no turnovers and did a great job of getting other guys involved. We have 11 guys on our team right now, and I always tell them you never know when you’ll get your opportunity.”
In the second half, Eric Lawton took over the game, finishing the game with 18 points including four makes from behind the arc.
Meanwhile, senior Dosh Simms was cleaning up on the glass, snagging 12 boards to go along with his 13 points to earn a double double. Simms played almost the entire game, only coming out for nine seconds.
Down the stretch, the ‘Cats won the game with a suffocating defensive performance. Angelo State went scoreless for over 13 minutes against the tough 2-3 zone that the Rams could not solve.
ACU also struggled to score points for much of the second half, leaving the score tied at 54 with a minute and a half left. Coming out of a timeout, Brown buried a three-pointer from the corner to give ACU a lead they would not relinquish.
“T.J. played 30 minutes on Wednesday night, and he really played great,” Golding said. “T.J. can shoot the basketball for us, and the last week or so we have been telling him to embrace his shooting ability and be a threat out there on the floor. He also took three charges for us last night, so he played well on both ends of the floor as a true freshman.”
Cornelius Cammock chipped in with 12 points and eight rebounds in 22 minutes of play. Steven Werner grabbed eight rebounds and blocked a shot while manning the middle of the zone.
“Cornelius did a great job of bouncing back after the Kingsville game and was big for us in San Angelo,” assistant coach Brian Burton said.
ACU needed a victory after they lost to Texas A&M Kingsville on the road last Saturday. The ‘Cats were unable to get going in the first half, and ran out of time as a furious comeback attempt came up nine points short.
ACU will finish off rivalry week with another game against Angelo State tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. in Moody Coliseum with a chance to continue to climb up the Lone Star Conference standings.
“Our guys know that Angelo is plenty good enough to come in here and beat us,” Golding said. “We better be ready Saturday, it’s a big game for both teams, so it should be a good one.”
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