ACU drops a pair at Southeastern Louisiana

February 17th, 2018 - HAMMOND, La. – Staring at a chance to earn the program’s first berth in the Southland Conference Post-Season Tournament, the ACU Wildcats looked poised to punch its ticket to Katy, jumping out to a 17-point lead over Southeastern Louisiana with two minutes left in the first half Saturday afternoon at the University Center on the SLU campus.

But in one of the most stunning turnarounds in recent ACU women’s program history, the Wildcats watched almost helplessly as the Lions outscored them 51-32 over the final 22 minutes of the contest to take a 78-76 win over the Wildcats at the University Center.

A win would have given ACU its 10th conference win of the season and clinched a berth in the conference tournament, but a combination of too many turnovers (20, including 14 in the first half) that turned into 33 Southeastern Louisiana points and poor 3-point shooting in the final three quarters (11 of 31 overall, but just 6 for 23 in the final 30 minutes) led to ACU’s downfall.

ACU led 44-27 with 2:11 left in the first half after a 3-pointer by freshman Josie Larson, and the Wildcats appeared to be cruising into halftime. But the Lions got right back into the game, thanks in part to four turnovers by the Wildcats in the final 1:19 of the half. The Lions were able to take advantage of those to rip off a 13-0 run to end the half trailing just 44-40. Tyler Morrison hit a 30-foot 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer to make it a four point game. It was her only bucket of the game and those three points were the difference in the final score.

Southeastern carried the momentum into the third quarter as the Lions ripped off a 12-3 run to move its 55-54 lead to 67-57 with 1:18 left in the third quarter, and they went to the fourth quarter with a 67-58 advantage.

ACU trailed by between 7-10 points for most of the fourth quarter before freshman guard Kayla Galindo buried a 3-pointer with 5:08 followed by a Breanna Wright layup with 4:36 left to cut the SLU lead to 75-71. Dominique Golightly then drove the baseline and banked in a layup with 3:17 to play to cut the Southeastern lead to 75-73.

Dugas then hit a pair of free throws with 1:36 to play before Makayla Mabry took a pass from Wright and laid it in to cut the lead to 77-75 with 1:16 left in the game. After a blocked shot by Sara Williamson on the defensive end, she was fouled on the other end and went to the line with 32.6 seconds left with a chance to tie the score.

Williamson, however, missed the first and made the second, leaving her team trailing 77-76. After a turnover by Dugas, Galindo missed a go-ahead 3-pointer with 12 seconds left, and Taylin Underwood grabbed the defensive rebound and SLU called a timeout with 6.2 seconds left in the game. She was fouled on the inbounds pass with 5.2 seconds to play and went to the line with a chance to put her team up by three points.

She made the second of two free throws and ACU called timeout to set up a play to either tie or win the game. Williamson — who last Saturday hit the game-winning layup against Incarnate Word with less than one second to play — got the ball again and drove to the free throw lane where she put up a shot that was blocked, thwarting ACU’s shot at tying the game and sending it to overtime.

Wright and Larson led the Wildcats with 16 points, while Galindo had 13 and Golightly scored 10. The Wildcats (15-9 overall and 9-5 in the Southland Conference) will have another chance to punch their ticket to the Southland Conference Tournament Wednesday night when take on Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in Corpus Christi.

Wildcats fall to Southeastern Louisiana

HAMMOND, La. — The ACU Wildcats ran into one of the top scoring defense in Southland Conference play Saturday afternoon and Southeastern Louisiana had its way with the Wildcats as the Lions clinched a spot in the Southland Conference Post-Season Tournament with a 68-54 win over the Wildcats at the University Center on the SLU campus.

The loss drops the Wildcats to 15-12 overall and 7-7 in the league, although they remain in seventh place in the league standings after losses by Central Arkansas (also now 7-7 after an 87-83 home loss to first-place Nicholls) and a McNeese loss at New Orleans.

ACU has two huge home games next week beginning with a Wednesday night contest against Texas A&M-Commerce, which will enter the game at 5-9 in the league and having never lost to the Wildcats. ACU will then host Central Arkansas next Saturday on Senior Day with the Wildcats looking for the season sweep of the Bears. Depending on what happens below them in the league standings, two wins next week could clinch a spot in the conference tournament for the Wildcats.

Saturday’s game was never close as the Lions jumped out to a 4-4 lead with 13:01 left in the first half.  After ACU managed to cut the lead to 25-19 with 7:23 left in the half on a 3-pointer by B.J. Maxwell, Southeastern ripped off a 9-1 run to open a 15-point lead with 4:34 left in the first half.

The Wildcats wouldn’t get closer than 12 points the rest of the way as they turned in a tough offensive performance against the team that leads the league in scoring defense in conference play, allowing just 67.5 ppg entering the contest. ACU hit just 20 of 59 shots from the floor (33.9 percent), including just 4 of 15 from 3-point range (26.7 percent).

The Wildcats turned the ball over 15 times and the Lions converted them into 24 of their 68 points. ACU won the battle on the boards, out-rebounding the Lions 37-36, but it wasn’t enough to offset a Lions offense that shot 50 percent from the field (28 of 56) and 35 percent from 3-point range (7 of 20).

Jordan Capps — who had 16 points in Southeastern’s 72-70 win over ACU on Jan. 6 in Abilene — had 22 points and eight rebounds Saturday, while Marlain Veal had 16 and Jabbar Singleton 11. Jaren Lewis and Tevin Foster had 12 points apiece for the Wildcats, the only two ACU players to finish in double figures.

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