After a season full of frustrating, narrow losses, Wednesday night's blowout win over Incarnate Word was just what the doctor ordered for the ACU Wildcats.
ACU built as much as a 19-point first-half lead, survived an early second-half flurry by the Cardinals and then pulled away for a xx-xx win over the Cardinals in the program's final road game as an NCAA Division II program. ACU will close out its 40th and final season in the Lone Star Conference on Saturday with a 7:30 p.m. home game against Texas A&M-Kingsville at Moody Coliseum.
The Wildcats' victory pushes them to 12-13 overall and 6-11 in the LSC, and gives them a chance to finish at .500 for the season with a win over the Javelinas. The Cardinals -- who will play next week in the LSC Post-Season Tournament -- are now 13-12 and 9-8 on the season.
ACU jumped out of the gates quickly just as it did in building a 20-point first-half lead in its win over Incarnate Word on Jan. 15 in Abilene.
Senior Steven Werner was dominant inside early with six points, while Parker Wentz had five points, Eric Lawton eight, Cornelius Cammock three and Dosh Simms two. Simms -- playing his final LSC road game -- might have put up one of the best performances of his career with 14 points, 13 rebounds and three assists.
ACU's lead was 41-23 at halftime, but knew a run was coming from the Cardinals. And it came in the first 3:47 of the second half as the Cardinals outscored ACU 18-6 to start the half and cut the Wildcats' lead to 47-41 with 16:13 to play.
But the Wildcats wouldn't fold as they responded with a 12-2 run of their own over the next 5:01 to push the lead back to 59-43 with 11:12 to play in the game. Lawton had seven points in the run for the Wildcats as they were able to regain control of the game and move on for the win and the season sweep of the Cardinals.
Lawton led the Wildcats in scoring with 18 points, while Simms and Werner had 14 and Wentz added 13 off the bench in one of the best games of his young Wildcat career.
Information for this story provided by ACU Sports Information.