The ACU Wildcats hung with one of the nation's top scoring offenses for as long as they could before Northwestern State finally put together a finishing run in the second half to take a 84-66 win over the Wildcats in Southland Conference basketball action at Prather Coliseum.
The Wildcats fell behind 15-0, but rallied to trail just 42-35 at halftime behind 17 first-half points from sophomore guard Parker Wentz, who hit five 3-pointers in the second half. ACU – 12th in the league in scoring – trailed just 49-40 early in the second half after a bucket by Michael Grant, but the Demons ripped off a 22-9 run over a span of 12 minutes to take control of the game.
Gary Stewart finished off that run with a layup to make it 71-49 with 5:45 to play, essentially putting an end to the contest.
Playing their fifth straight game without their two leading scorers in LaDarrien Williams and Harrison Hawkins, the Wildcats simply didn't have enough firepower to match the Demons, who entered the game averaging 87.7 points per game.
Brison White led three Demons in double figures with 28 points, the most an opposing player has scored against the Wildcats this season. Northwestern State 53.4 percent from the field (31 of 58), including 58.6 percent in the second half (17 of 29). Whit had 17 points in the first half and 11 in the second half for the Demons.
Jalan West had 13 points for the Demons, while Zikiteran Woodley had 12 points.
The Wildcats hung in the game in the first half thanks to red-hot shooting from beyond the arc. ACU hit 9 of 13 3-point field goals against Northwestern State's 3-2 zone, including 5 of 7 by Wentz, who now has 102 3-point field goals in his career. He is the ninth player in ACU history to reach 100 career 3-point field goals and the fastest player to reach that plateau.
ACU, however, hit just 2 of 17 shots from 2-point range in the first half, and then in the second half the Wildcats lost their touch from the 3-point line.
The Wildcats hit just 3 of 10 3-pointers in the second half, none by Wentz, who was held scoreless from the field in the final 20 minutes as the Demons made a more concerted effort to keep him off the board.
Junior guard Rafael Farley set a career high with six 3-pointers (6 of 8) and 18 points as he tied Wentz for the team lead in scoring. James Pegues had 12 points for the Wildcats.
Information provided by ACU Athletics.