ABILENE – A big run from Abilene Christian in the second quarter opened the game up and the Wildcats would hang on the rest of the way in picking up an 83-65 win over Sam Houston State on Saturday afternoon at Moody Coliseum.
Ashleigh Cooper had 11 points and six rebounds to lead the Kats (3-7, 0-1 SLC), but Sam Houston could not overcome the Wildcats’ (8-4, 2-0 SLC) 29-point second quarter and barrage of 14 3-point baskets.
Sam Houston outscored the Wildcats 44-40 in the second half and hit 17 of its 21 tries at the foul line, but ACU put three players in double figures, led by Sara Williamson’s 19 points and seven assists to get its second win of the young league slate.
The Bearkats will next travel to Conway, Ark. to take on the Sugar Bears on Wednesday, January 3. Tipoff is set for 7:00 p.m. from the Farris Center.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN THE FIRST HALF
Each team opened up slowly from the field with the Bearkats holding an early 6-5 lead on a layup from Lydia Baxter late in the first quarter. But the Wildcats would score nine straight points in just under three minutes before Akarian Morgan floated in a 3-point basket at the buzzer to put the Kats down just five after a quarter of play.
Four free throws from Ashleigh Cooper kept the Kats within single digits early in the second period, but again Sam Houston was cold from the field, missing 10 of its first 11 shots of the quarter. Meanwhile, ACU put together a 14-0 run to open the game up, a run that did not end until a driving layup from Alyssa Osborne with less than 90 seconds remaining in the half.
The Wildcats connected on five triples in the quarter, putting up 29 points in the period and went into the half up 43-21 after holding Sam Houston to just 17.6 percent shooting.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN THE SECOND HALF
The Kats found themselves down as much as 24 points in the third quarter, but still managed to outscore ACU by 7 in the period. The Kats hit half of their 14 shots from the field and made a living at the foul line, hitting 10 of its 12 tries, getting the lead down to as little as 13 before finishing out the quarter down by 15.
Baxter got six of her points in that quarter, but ACU was able to push its lead back out to a comfortable margin in the final quarter behind 10 points from Dominique Golightly. Williamson, Breanna Wright and Golightly each hit 3-pointers for ACU’s first three buckets of the final stanza, opening the lead back up to 24 within the first two minutes of play. Sam Houston would hit eight of its 16 tries from the floor, but had half of its 14 turnovers for the game in the fourth period. Meanwhile, ACU connected on five of its six tries from distance to close it out.