ABILENE – The 50th season of Abilene Christian women’s basketball tipped off Thanksgiving eve at the Teague Events Center with a hearty 99-45 victory over in-state rival Howard Payne. Four Wildcats scored in double figures led by junior Madi Miller’s 23 points and senior Alyssa Adams’ 21 points. Adams also led the Wildcats with nine rebounds and two blocks.
Senior Anna McLeod totaled 13 points and five boards in her 25-minute start, while freshman Taylor Morgan came off the bench to score 10 points in less than 10 minutes as she was a perfect 8-of-8 from the free-throw line.
Morgan is one of six newcomers on this year’s roster, and all played quality minutes this evening in helping the Wildcats dominate the Yellow Jackets. In typical fashion, the team shot 58.8 percent (30-51) from the floor and were successful on 15-of-29 attempts from beyond the arc (51.7 percent). Miller drained four treys, while McLeod, senior Josie Larson and junior transfer Paige Emborsky each had three.
The home team also overwhelmed HPU at the charity stripe, sinking 24-of-32 buckets, while the visitors were successful on only 6-of-13 attempts.
ACU shot 61.5 percent in the first quarter in taking a 25-15 lead and more than doubled its advantage thanks to 22-6 second-quarter run. The Wildcats again held HPU to single digits (9 points) in the third quarter, and made 8-of-9 buckets (6-7 3-pointers) in winning the final quarter, 24-15.
The Wildcats’ defense won the rebounding battle, 37-20, and flipped 24 Yellow Jacket turnovers into 38 points.
ACU continues its homestand Saturday with a 1 p.m. tip vs. McMurry followed by a Tuesday 5:30 p.m. contest vs. UT Permian Basin.
To help curb the spread of COVID-19 in the local community, these upcoming two events will be limited to essential personnel and a limited number of players’ families and guests. There will be no walk-up or single-game ticket sales. Games will be broadcast on acusports.com or ESPN+.