ACU women defeat Southland champs


ABILENE, Texas - The old cliche is that the best players play their best in the biggest games. That was certainly true Saturday afternoon in Moody Coliseum as ACU senior forward Suzzy Dimba poured in a career-high 28 points as part of a dominant all-around performance in the Wildcats' 83-76 win over Central Arkansas.

Dimba's twin sister, Lizzy Dimba, was terrific as well, finishing with 20 points and six rebounds as the Wildcats improved to 9-6 overall and 3-0 in Southland Conference play. Central Arkansas, meanwhile, fell to 9-4 and 1-2 with the loss to the Wildcats. The two teams will meet again on Feb. 8 in Conway, Ark.

Suzzy Dimba hit 9 of 15 shots from the field (4 of 5 from 3-point range), hit all six of her free throws, pulled down 11 rebounds, had one assist, blocked three shots and had one steal to lead ACU to its 10th straight conference win and 20th in its last 21 games. Her previous career-high in points was the 25 she scored in a March 5, 2016, win at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, and the game marked her 67th career double-figure scoring game and 31st career double-double.

Lizzy Dimba, meanwhile, finished with a season-high 20 points to go along with six rebounds, three assists, one block and one steal in 37 minutes. She hit 7 of 11 shots (also 4 of 5 from 3-point range) as she collected her 52nd career game in double figures.

The Dimbas combined to hit 8 of 10 shots from beyond the arc, and their teammates combined to hit 5 of 13 as ACU blistered the nets from 3-point range to the tune of 13 of 26 (50 percent). Alexis Mason hit a pair of 3-pointers and Bre Wright and Dominique Golightly hit one for the Wildcats.

The first half was a nip-and-tuck affair with ACU holding a 36-30 lead at the break before the Wildcats dominated the third quarter (28-15) to extend its lead to 64-45 at the end of the quarter. ACU's lead was 40-35 before ACU ran off a 24-10 run over the final 7:30 of the third quarter to push its lead to 19 points.

The Wildcats ended the quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers from Suzzy Dimba and freshman guard Pamela Herrera to extend the lead to the largest of the game. Suzzy Dimba had 10 points (two 3-pointers) and Lizzy Dimba had eight points (two 3-pointers) in the quarter.

ACU's lead was still 15 with 3:41 to play in the game after Suzzy Dimba hit a layup to make it 73-58, but UCA then went on a 16-8 run over the next 3:16 to cut the Wildcats' lead to just seven points (81-74) with 25 seconds to play. Kierra Jordan, who had a game-high 21 points off the bench for UCA, had nine points in the run to get the Sugar Bears back into the game.

But ACU got a stop in the final 13 seconds and Mason hit a pair of free throws, and that was enough distance for the Wildcats to be able to get the win and stay perfect in conference play.

The Wildcats will be back on the floor Thursday night at 5:30 p.m. when it hosts another of the top teams in the Southland -- Stephen F. Austin -- in another tough Southland Conference contest.

Courtesy ACU Sports Information.

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