Wildcats fall to 1-4 in conference with loss to Southeastern
ABILENE, TX - James Currington and Marlain Veal each scored 13 points Thursday night and ACU hit just 37 percent of its shots from the field as Southeastern Louisiana rallied from an early deficit to fend off the Wildcats, 56-50, in a game marred by 48 fouls, 48 free throws and 40 turnovers.
The loss drops ACU to 7-9 overall and 1-4 in the Southland Conference, while the Lions improve to 10-8 and 3-2 with two of those conference wins coming over ACU.
The Wildcats played well early, jumping out to leads of 7-0, 13-4 and 20-9 before a driving layup by Payten Ricks put the Wildcats up 22-10 with 5:09 left in the first half. But the Wildcats went ice cold from the rest of the first half and Southeastern began to heat up, outscoring ACU 15-4 over the final 4:34 to cut the Wildcats' halftime lead to just 26-25.
ACU took just three shots from the field in the final five minutes of the half, gave up five offensive rebounds and turned the ball over five times in that half-ending span. Southeastern took its first lead of the night on its first possession of the second half when Jabbar Singleton buried a 3-pointer from the left wing and the Lions never trailed again.
The Southeastern lead grew to as many as 13 points (46-33) with 8:56 to play on a three-point play by Currington before ACU began chipping away at the lead. The Wildcats got the Lions' lead down to two points (51-49) with 1:26 to play on a layup by Jaren Lewis, but Veal answered on the other end with a free throw line jumper near the end of the shot clock to push the lead back to 53-49.
Currington hit two free throws and Veal one in the final 16 seconds of the game to seal the deal for the Lions.
Southeastern hit 12 of 23 shots from the free throw line (52.2 percent), 19 of 51 shots from the field (37.3 percent), turned the ball over 21 times, and was whistled for 21 fouls in the contest. ACU, meanwhile, was just 15 of 41 from the field (36.6 percent), 15 of 25 from the line (60 percent), turned the ball over 19 times and was whistled for 27 fouls.
Jaren Lewis led the Wildcats with 12 points and nine rebounds, while Jalone Friday had 10 points and eight rebounds.
-- The Wildcats were out-rebounded by the Lions, 42-28, Thursday night, the eighth straight game ACU has been out-rebounded. In two games against Southeastern Louisiana this season - both losses by the Wildcats - the Lions out-rebounded ACU by a combined 77-50.
-- The Lions had 17 offensive rebounds in the game compared to just six for the Wildcats.
The Wildcats will be back in action Saturday at 4 p.m. when they host Lamar in another Southland Conference contest in Moody Coliseum. The game can be heard on 98.1 FM The Ticket.
-Information provided by ACU Athletics