Abilene Christian was having a piddling problem Thursday putting Dixie Country away early in the second half, after edifice a thirteen-point halftime lead and scoring the start five points of the one-half for an eighteen-point advantage.
The Trailblazers cutting the Wildcats’ lead to ten (49-39) with 14:31 to play, and Brette Tanner wasn’t happy. He allow his team know information technology.
ACU responded with an 8-0 run to get some breathing room and, after Dixie answered with five sequent points, the Wildcats put the Trailblazers abroad with a 14-0 spurt en route to an 80-64 victory at the Teague Center.
Equally usual, it was ACU’south defense that paved the mode for the Western Athletic Conference victory. The Wildcats forced 25 turnovers and outscored the Trailblazers 35-15 off the miscues. ACU scored 8 points off four turnovers during the crucial xiv-0 run.
“We had a pretty spirited time out before that, considering we lost the starting time four minutes of the 2d half,” said Tanner, ACU’southward first-year head coach. “Nosotros talked about it a little fleck, and they came out. There was a petty free energy. … Those guys, nosotros only turned them over, turned them over and turned them over and got buckets, got buckets, got buckets.
“That little stretch correct at that place, I thought, kind of solidified the win and fabricated information technology a trivial bit more comfortable. The defense was great, but we await peachy defence force.”
Mahki Morris had a game-high 18 points for ACU (19-9 overall, ten-vii WAC), while Cameron Steele followed with 12. Airion Simmons added eleven points, and Immanuel Allen had x off the bench. The Wildcats bounced back from a 73-71 loss at Stephen F. Austin on Saturday.
Airion Simmons likewise had six of his team’s 18 steals – iv shy of the schoolhouse-record 22 gear up the previous Thursday in a 77-42 win over Lamar in Abilene. The Wildcats outscored the Cards 41-18 off turnovers in that game.
ACU was relentless defensively Th night – setting the tone early, forcing fifteen turnovers in the beginning half and scoring 23 of points off the mistakes in edifice a 40-27 halftime pb.
“I felt like this night was special,” Morris said. “Like everybody was just on the aforementioned folio. We all were connected together. We were talking a lot. I think that was the main thing. We communicated a lot, and information technology was only flying around.”
Hunter Schofield led Dixie (13-17, 6-eleven) with 15 points, and Jacob Nicolds had 12 off the bench. It was the Trailblazers’ third straight loss.
Tanner was thrilled with the energy that Allen and Tobias Cameron brought off the bench.
“Manny was nifty, I thought in the first one-half with his energy and what he brought to the offensive glass and making some big baskets,” Tanner said.
In that location was Cameron. The Wildcats outscored Dixie by thirty points while he was on the court.
“Tobias was plus-30 in the game tonight,” Tanner said. “That’s unbelievable. … The dude played 20 minutes and we’re plus 30 when he’south in the game.”
Cameron is usually a starter, only Tanner started Steele instead because it offered a better matchup.
The victory, coupled with One thousand Canyon’s 68-57 win over Utah Valley, pulled the Wildcats into a tie with Utah Valley for sixth in the league standings. ACU would win the tiebreaker over the Wolverines, thanks to an eighty-76 win in the but meeting in Utah.
Hanging on to that 6th seed is important for the Wildcats going into the WAC tournament side by side week in Las Vegas. Seeds 7-10 would have to win five games to win the conference tournament and the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Seeds v-6 would play one less game.
Centre on xx
ACU is one win shy of winning twenty games for a programme-record four consecutive seasons. ACU has won two conference titles, played in two NCAA Tournaments – beating Texas in the first round last yr – in that span.
“The numbers don’t matter,” Tanner said. “Information technology really doesn’t. … I’ve said all twelvemonth we’re trying to have a great flavour. No matter what happens the remainder of this year, we’ve had a great season. We’ve had some big wins. We’ve had some tough losses. We’ve bounced back. We’ve fought through adversity. We’ve done a lot of practiced things here, man.”
ACU plays Tarleton at 6 p.chiliad. Saturday in final game at the Teague Center.
The Wildcats have played in the makeshift arena the past two seasons while Moody Coliseum is being renovated. It as well will be the final home game for seniors Reggie Miller, Coryon Mason and Morris, while Damien Daniels and Cameron both take the option to come back since players were awarded an extra year because of the COVID-xix pandemic.
“What those 5 guys have done, not only for this basketball game program only for this university, is unbelievable,” Tanner said. “They have put Abilene Christian on a national stage. This is the all-time run in the history of ACU basketball game, no thing what we practise from this twenty-four hours forward. Those guys volition always be remembered. If I have anything to do with it, those guys are hall of famers 1 day, just considering of what they’ve been able to do. I’yard not continuing here right now in front of you lot without those 5 seniors.”
Joey D. Richards covers Abilene loftier schools and colleges, Big Country schools and other local sports. Follow him at Twitter at ARN_Joey. If y’all appreciate locally driven news, you can support local journalists with a digital subscription to ReporterNews.com.
WESTERN ATHLETIC Conference
ACU lxxx, Dixie State 64
Dixie State … 27 … 37 — 64
Abilene Christian … 40 … 40 — 80
DIXIE ST. (13-17, 6-11) —
Leter 3-8 1-1 eight, Schofield 6-11 3-6 15, Gooden 0-i ii-iv 2, Pope 1-5 2-three five, Staine 2-v 2-2 six, Gonsalves 1-3 2-3 five, Nicolds ii-3 7-ix 12, Mulibea i-1 0-0 three, Edmonds i-2 0-0 ii, Gilbert 0-i 1-2 1, Allfrey 1-iii 0-0 3, Hatch 1-1 0-0 2, Elniel 0-0 0-0 0.
19-44 xx-30 64.
ABILENE CHRISTIAN (nineteen-9, 10-7) —Simmons 3-10 five-6 eleven, Steele 5-9 0-0 12, Bricklayer 0-five v-half dozen five, Miller 1-2 0-1 2, Morris 6-11 4-4 eighteen, Cameron 1-5 one-2 iii, Daniels 3-vi 0-0 7, Jackson 2-half-dozen 0-0 5, Allen 4-8 2-2 10, Gai 2-3 1-1 5, Cadeaux de Dieu ane-iii 0-0 ii, Smith 0-0 0-0 0.
28-68 18-22 80.
iii-Point Goals –
Dixie St. six-20 (Mulibea 1-ane, Allfrey 1-two, Nicolds i-2, Gonsalves 1-3, Pope 1-3, Leter 1-v, Gilbert 0-1, Schofield 0-1, Staine 0-2), Abilene Christian 6-19 (Steele ii-3, Morris two-4, Daniels 1-1, Jackson 1-ii, Allen 0-1, Miller 0-one, Cameron 0-two, Simmons 0-ii, Mason 0-3).
Fouled Out —Simmons.
Rebounds —Dixie St. 32 (Leter 7), Abilene Christian 32 (Steele, Morris 6).
Assists —Dixie St. 15 (Gooden iv), Abilene Christian 17 (Mason, Miller, Morris 3).
Total Fouls —Dixie St. 19, Abilene Christian 26.
Technical Fouls —
None. A —829 (1,000).