WICHITA FALLS - The short-handed ACU Wildcats put up a fight, but couldn't overcome 23 offensive rebounds by Midwestern State and 21 turnovers of their own Monday night as they dropped a 64-57 decision to Midwestern State in Lone Star Conference women's basketball action at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.
The loss drops the Wildcats to 4-5 overall and 1-4 in the LSC, while the Mustangs improve to 7-3 and 4-1. The Wildcats will be back in action Dec. 29-30 in the West Texas A&M Lady Buff Classic in Canyon. Next home game for the Wildcats is Jan. 3, 2012, when they return to LSC play against Incarnate Word at 5:30 p.m. at Moody Coliseum.
ACU was playing without the league's leading scorer in sophomore guard Mack Lankford (18.4 points per game), who suffered a left shoulder sprain late in last Saturday's win at Eastern New Mexico. Lankford will be out up to two weeks while she recovers. The Wildcats were also missing reserve guard Shelby Shipley, who missed the game after the death of her grandfather.
The Wildcats led 26-24 at halftime and kept the game close throughout the second half, never letting the Mustangs get away from them until a 9-1 MSU spurt gave them the game's biggest lead at 49-40 with 5:04 left in the game.
ACU cut the MSU lead to 40-39 with 9:09 left in the game on a three-point play by Cecilee Perez. But the Mustangs outscored ACU 9-1 over the next 4:05 to push the lead to 49-40. Kristi Degelia had four points in the run, while Savannah Carver had three free throws and Jazman Patterson had two free throws.
The Wildcats didn't help themselves with four turnovers and by allowing four offensive rebounds in the four-minute span.
But ACU fought back into the game, cutting the MSU advantage to 56-54 with 1:27 left on a pair of free throws from Perez, who had a season-high 12 points. But Cierra Thompson drilled a 3-pointer with 1:08 to play to make it 59-54 and then Dianna Jones essentially iced the win with two free throws with 36 seconds left to make it 61-54.
Perez and freshman post Paige Parliament led the Wildcats with 12 points each, while Kelsey Smith added eight points and nine rebounds before fouling out midway through the second half.
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