By Mickey Winfield, PNT Staff Writer
Abilene Christian shot the ball often Wednesday night at Greyhound Arena, and most of the time they shot the ball — they made the shot.
ACU (16-6, 3-4) shot over 54 percent from the field and an eye-popping 62 percent (13-of-21) from 3-point range in a runaway 84-60 Lone Star Conference game against the Greyhounds (6-17, 0-8). While the Wildcats were converting on most of their shots, the Greyhounds struggled from the field, shooting just 38 percent and over 26 percent from long range.
The loss is the Hounds’ ninth in their last 10 games, and their eighth loss in a row.
“When (Abilene Christian) shoots that well — we could maybe have been at our best, and the shooting might have been the difference in the game anyway,” Greyhound head coach Shawn Scanlan said.
The ENMU men never led, as the Wildcats jumped out to a fast 7-0 lead in the first half.
Greyhound seniors Justin Redman-Trotter and Kendall Clark each collected two quick field goals, and the ACU lead was cut to 3 points at 12-9, and trailed 15-13 moments later. But that’s as close as the Greyhounds would get.
The Wildcats combined their assault on the basket with stifling defense to extend their lead to 45-23 at the half.
ACU began the second half with an 15-7 run to grow their lead to 60-30 and cruised to their third Lone Star Conference victory.
The ENMU men did show signs of life in the last two minutes, closing out the game on a 15-0 run, and Scanlan took notice.
“They fought all the way to the end. I was extremely proud of them,” Scanlan said. “This was a monumental effort on their part, I thought they finished strong. They got down big in the second half but they finished as well as they possibly could have.”
“I think our team played with a lot of heart,” freshman forward Matt Churchman said. “We never gave up and that last run shows how much heart we have and how much we gave it.”
Clark led the Hounds with 26 points while pulling down 8 boards. Redman-Trotter followed Clark’s effort with 15 points, 5 rebounds and 6 steals.
Abilene Christian had three players in double figures.
Junior forward Dejan Sencanski led the Wildcats with 29 points and 4 rebounds. Senior guard Brandon Callahan added 15 points, while junior forward Marco Nikolic contributed 10 points.
“The guys battled,” Scanlan said. “I don’t know if anybody understands what a difficult thing it is to go through something like this. It’s so easy to not try, just to give into it and say, ‘I don’t want to try.’”
The Hounds hit the road for three games, starting Saturday at West Texas A&M, before heading to Angelo State Feb. 23 and Tarleton State Feb. 27. The ENMU men close out their season at home on March 1 against Midwestern State.