SAN ANGELO – LaDarrien Williams and Jacob Lancaster each scored 16 points Friday afternoon as the ACU Wildcats won their first game as an NCAA Division I basketball program with a 62-44 win over Western New Mexico in the San Angelo Community Medical Center Classic hosted by Angelo State.
The Wildcats – now 1-5 after opening the season with losses to Duquesne, St. Bonaventure, Maryland, Iowa and TCU – will return to action Saturday at 5 p.m. when they take on Northern New Mexico College at the Junell Center.
The Wildcats will return to Abilene late Saturday night and then fly out Sunday morning to Cincinnati where they will play Xavier on Monday at 6 p.m. (Abilene time).
No radio or television coverage will be provided for ACU's two games in San Angelo, but the Monday game at Xavier will be broadcast locally on 98.1 FM (on the internet at the98x.com) and will be broadcast to a national television audience on Fox Sports 1 (channel 258 on Abilene Suddenlink cable).
Friday afternoon in San Angelo, the Wildcats led from start to finish as they jumped out to a 5-0 lead on a layup by Lancaster and three free throws from Williams. ACU's lead was as many as 19 points in the first half before it settled for a 30-15 halftime lead.
WNMU (0-2) cut the Wildcats' lead to 39-30 with 12:20 to play on a Brelan Berry dunk before ACU went on a 13-5 run over the next eight minutes to push the lead back to 52-35 with 4:49 to play. Parker Wentz finished off the run with a layup on an assists from Williams.
ACU's lead grew to as many as 20 points with 49 seconds to play on a 3-pointer from Harrison Hawkins.
"Our guys deserved this win after the first two weeks," ACU head coach Joe Golding said of his team's effort against Western New Mexico. "We did not play a full 40 minutes, but we did enough to win."
Lancaster hit 5 of 7 shots from the field and 6 of 8 free throws while also pulling down nine rebounds as he played his best game as a Wildcat.
"Jacob played well again," Golding said. "He finished shots inside and made his free throws. Hopefully he continues to get better every day."
The Wildcats out-rebounded WNMU 42-20 and hit 25 of 33 free throws compared to just 7 of 11 for WNMU. Williams hit 3 of 7 shots from the field (1 of 3 from 3-point range) and buried 9 of 11 free throws for his 16 points.
Wentz – who started each of the first five games – came off the bench to score 12 points on 3 of 6 shooting (2 of 5 from 3-point range).