Wildcats
Airion Simmons had a team-high 15 points but it wasn't enough as the Wildcats lost at Texas A&M on Friday. Courtesy ACU Athletics.

Wildcats Fall in Power 6 Matchup, Pair of Lancers Shine in Debut

Friday night in College Station, the Abilene Christian Wildcats were looking to repeat their previous performance at Reed Arena. But, with a very different outcome. You may remember that night on Nov. 12, 2021. The game where Mahki Morris hit a 3-pointer with no time remaining in the first overtime to send it to a second overtime. And then Texas A&M guard Hassan Diarra burying a 3-pointer to give the Aggies the 81-80 win in double overtime.

But, the Wildcats were looking for a different outcome on Friday Nov. 11, 2022 in the rematch.

Unfortunately, it didn’t happen.

Wade Taylor IV had a game-high 21 points and Texas A&M forced 21 turnovers in a 77-58 win over Abilene Christian on Friday at Reed Arena.

Henry Coleman III, Tyrece Radford and Dexter Dennis all had 13 points each for the Aggies. Airion Simmons led ACU with 15 points while Manny Allen was the only other Wildcat in double figures with 14 points.

After A&M jumped out to a 6-0 lead, ACU never really recovered. The lead ballooned to 10 with 10:50 remaining in the first half. But a Manny Allen dunk with 6:43 left in the half cut the deficit to five.

Unfortunately, another 6-0 run by the Aggies pushed it back to 11 with 4:13 left in the half.

Tobias Cameron hit a pair of free throws with 41 seconds left in the half to cut the deficit to two. But, Dennis Dexter hit a jumper with 14 seconds left to make it a 5-point game heading into the locker room.

The Aggies came out firing to start the second half. An 8-0 run made it 42-29 with 17:22 to play. But Airion Simmons wasn’t going to let things get away. Simmons knocked down three straight 3-pointers in a two-minute span to keep the Wildcats within striking distance.

But another 8-2 run by Texas A&M pushed the lead back to 17. And unfortunately, the Wildcats didn’t have enough offense to get back in the ball game at that point. Dennis Dexter’s 3-pointer with 3:19 to play made it a 19-point game. And just for good measure, Dexter hit another 3-pointer with 25 seconds remaining to put the icing on the cake.

The Aggies gave the Wildcats a dose of their own medicine by forcing 21 ACU turnovers. ACU also had troubles defending the Aggies without fouling. Texas A&M went to the free throw line 35 times on Friday night, converting 25 of those opportunities. The Wildcats were just 10-12 from the charity stripe.

ACU hosts McMurry on Military Appreciation Night on Tuesday before heading to Las Vegas for the Vegas 4 MTE Nov. 21-22.

Quintana, Goodrick Shine in CBU Debut

Loyola Marymount transfer Joe Quintana didn’t play for California Baptist in the season opener on Monday against Long Beach State. Neither did South Dakota transfer Hunter Goodrick.

Head coach Rick Croy is glad that both made their CBU debuts on Friday at the CBU Events Center.

Goodrick finished with 14 points and Quintana had 16 points as CBU got its first win of the season 59-43 over NJIT in front of a sold out crowd at CBU Events Center.

Goodrick came off the bench in the first half and gave the Lancers a spark. The 6-7 forward was 5-6 from the field and had a team-high 10 points at the break.

And despite it taking almost 17 minutes to finally hit his first 3-pointer, Joe Quintana finished with a team-high 16 points and knocked down four 3-pointers in his Lancer debut.

This game was still in doubt at the 13:25 mark of the second half. Souleymane Diakite’s free throw tied the game at 38. But Goodrick and Blondeau Tchoukuiegno began a 13-0 run to push the Lancers lead to 13 with 7:20 to play. And NJIT was never able to cut the deficit under double digits from that point on.

Quintana put the nail in the coffin by knocking down his fourth 3-pointer with 2:49 to play.

Taran Armstrong was also in double figures for CBU with 11 points to go along with six rebounds and four assists. Riley Battin pulled down 10 rebounds for the Lancers.

The win was also a milestone win for head coach Rick Croy. It is Croy’s 201st win at CBU, making him the all-time winningest coach in Lancer program history. Nearly half of Croy’s wins have come in CBU’s Division I era.

CBU is set to host CSU Northridge on Tuesday as part of the SoCal Challenge before heading to Seattle on Thursday to face Washington.

 

About the author

Kyle McDonald

Love everything about WAC Hoops so decided I wanted to write more about it and cover this amazing conference that just keeps getting better. Follow us on Twitter @wachoopsdigest for information, game analysis and much more.

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