The win pushes the Wildcats to 5-5 on the season, while the Lady Bears of Shaw fall to 3-4. ACU will take on Southwestern Oklahoma State at 4 p.m. Friday in Canyon. Shaw reached the NCAA Division II Elite Eight last year before losing in the semifinals to eventual national champion Clayton State (Ga.)
After Shaw's Sequoyah Griffin tied the scored at 66-66 with 40 seconds left, ACU guard Cecilee Perez was fouled and went to the free throw line. Perez - who was 1 for 5 from the line in the game - calmly sank both free throws with 36 seconds left to give the Wildcats a 68-66 advantage.
Working against an ACU defense that allowed the Lady Bears to shoot just 35 percent from the floor (24 of 69), Griffin missed a jumper with 16 seconds left that would have tied the game. ACU freshman Paige Parliament grabbed the rebound and was fouled by Griffin with 13 seconds left.
The Wildcats' freshman post drilled both free throws to give the Wildcats a four-point lead at 70-66 lead. Kyria Buford missed a 3-pointer with six seconds left, and ACU's Hillari Adam grabbed the rebound and dribbled out the clock on the Wildcats' win.
ACU led by as many as 11 points in the second half when it shot 57 percent from the field. However, the Lady Bears rallied, thanks to the inside work of center Aslea Williams, who had 14 points on 5 of 8 shooting and Griffin, who finished with 15 points.
Shaw's downfall was its free throw shooting and rebounding. The Lady Bears hit just 12 of 22 shots from the charity stripe and were out-rebounded by ACU 47-39.
The Wildcats, meanwhile, shot 44 percent from the floor (25 of 54) and hit 20 of 28 free throw attempts. Kelsey Smith led the Wildcats with 14 points and six rebounds, while Adam had 11 points and five rebounds. Renata Marquez turned in a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds for the Wildcats.