Freshman ' game-tying 3-pointer near the close of regulation should have swung all the momentum in Abilene Christian's favor heading into overtime, but Cameron scored the first seven points of the extra session en route to a 67-62 victory Saturday night at Aggie Gym.
The victory was Cameron's (15-7) third straight and keeps the Aggies in second place in the Lone Star Conference at 11-5. The Wildcats, however, have lost their last three – including two in overtime – to fall to 11-13 overall and 5-11 vs. the LSC. ACU now sits 3.0 games behind West Texas A&M and Texas A&M-Kingsville in the loss column for the eighth and final spot for the Lone Star Conference Championship.
Cameron led by as many as 11 points in tonight's contest and was up by six with 1:03 remaining when the Wildcats finally started to catch a few breaks. Senior guard cut the deficit in half with three free throws at the 50 second mark, and then after Tim Johnson made a pair at the other end to push the Aggie lead back to five, snuck in a layup with 30 ticks left to make it a one-possession game at 53-50.
On the very next possession, ACU forced Cameron into a rare turnover and Wentz buried a wide-open 3-pointer – his first and only of the game – with 28 seconds left off an assist from . The two sides then traded missed shots and headed into overtime.
Overtime belonged to the Aggies as they connected on their first three shots. Craig Foster hit a jumper in the paint followed by a backbreaking trey from Tim Johnson. Rudy Harrell – who was held to one field goal throughout regulation – then made the first of three-straight layups to push the Cameron advantage to seven points.
A dunk from Simms with: 42 seconds left in OT cut the Aggie lead to three at 65-62, but Andrew D. Thomas buried a jumper on Cameron's final possession to ice the game. ACU missed its final two field-goal attempts in the closing seconds.
Johnson and Foster led the Aggies with 17 points each as Cameron collectively shot .436 from the floor.
The Wildcats, meanwhile, shot .310, and were especially cold in the first half, making just 5-of-28 attempts as Cameron took a 32-23 lead into halftime. ACU was helped slightly in the first half with 10 free throws, but missed eight times from the charity stripe in the second half.
ACU won the rebounding war, 46-31, led by Simms who had a career-high 13 to go along with 13 points, but the Wildcats could only muster 10 second-chance points off 20 offensive rebounds.
Lawton led all players with 18 points and Lloyd chipped in 11.
The Wildcats return to action 11 days from now with a 7:30 p.m. game at Incarnate Word. ACU defeated the Cardinals, 93-76, at Moody Coliseum earlier this year on Jan. 15.
Information provided by ACU athletics department.