The ACU women’s basketball team faced off against the Incarnate Word Cardinals on Tuesday and gave head coach Julie Goodenough her 300th career win, 76-65.
Early defense turned into offense for the Wildcats, as they were able to convert on the Cardinals’ early turnovers. Junior Renata Marquez had a steal that led to a three pointer by junior Mack Lankford and another tipped pass by sophomore Shannon Saunders led to a fast break score the Lady ‘Cats.
Incarnate was forced to take a timeout with 8:50 left in the half as ACU grabbed ahold of a 24-12 lead. The momentum swung towards the end of the half as the Cardinals went on a 20-11 run and were able to cut the deficit to three and headed into the locker room, behind 35-32.
The second half proved to be more competitive, as neither team was able to pull away with a solid lead. Both teams came out with reenergized defenses and very physical styles of play.
The Wildcats led 58-51 with 7:34 left after a three point shot was made by sophomore Sadie Dickinson.
Incarnate Word was able to stay in the game by driving the lane and sinking free throws. With 4:02 left, the game was tied up at 60 as the momentum started to once again shift to the Cardinals in the late going.
The Wildcats were able to take back control of the game as freshman Kynzie Newman hit a huge three for the Lady ‘Cats with 1:54 left that gave ACU a five point lead in the late going.
Lankford and Marquez each made a couple of big free throws to put ACU up 72-62 with a minute left in the game. The Wildcats were able to play smart in the end, make their free throws, and continue their win streak at Moody Coliseum.
The Wildcats played superb ball over the winter break, as they have won six of their seven games by an average of 23 points. ACU outscored opponents 546-381; none of their wins came more convincingly than their 108-21 victory over Southwest Adventist University on Saturday at Moody Coliseum.
The Lady Cats set all kinds of school records, including largest margin of victory (87), most three pointers made in a single game(17) and the 21 points they gave up on defense was the lowest since their 1972-1973 season, where they gave up just 19 points.
They got contributions from all up and down the roster, most notable were 25 points from Marquez and 15 from Lankford and Newman.
The Wildcats will continue Lone Star Conference play on Saturday at Kingsville (3-11).
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