ABILENE, Texas - Senior forward Renata Marquez scored a career high 30-points and pulled down 11 rebounds in leading the Abilene Christian basketball team to a dominating 111-73 victory over Texas Lutheran Friday night at Moody Coliseum in the season opener for both teams.
The 111 points were the Wildcats' most under second-year head coach Julie Goodenough and most in regulation since dropping 116 on Texas Woman's during the 1997-98 season.
Last year's season high for points (108) was set against Southwestern Adventist (W, 108-21) – a game in which the Wildcats hit a school record 17 of 45 3-point attempts. And tonight they tied their own record for most 3-pointers made with 17, while taking one extra shot to finish with 46 (.370).
Marquez buried her first four 3-pointers and added seven free throws in reaching 30 points for the first time in her career. She also added one layup with less than 12 minutes remaining. Overall, the Conroe, Texas, native shot 57.1 percent from the field – 63.6 percent 3-point range – and knocked down all but one of her foul shots.
Her previous career single-game high of 28 points was attained against Texas A&M Commerce in March of 2013 during last year's Lone Star Conference Championship.
Marquez was just as good defensively tonight, tying freshman Brianne Jolivet for the most steals with four, blocking one of five Bulldog shots, and pulling down a team-high seven rebounds.
Sophomore Whitney West – last year's Lone Star Conference Freshman of the Year – tied her career high with 19 points as she hit a pair of threes as part of a 7-for-15 (.467) performance. Freshmen Alexis Mason and Suzzy Dimba also got into the act with each going 3-for-6 from beyond the arc.
West last scored 19 points during a regular season win over Commerce in February of 2013.
Mason scored 12 points in her collegiate debut and dished out a game-high seven assists, while Suzzy Dimba and her twin sister, Lizzy, combined for 23 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists.
Newcomer Sydney Shelstead just missed becoming the sixth Wildcat to reach double figures as she scored nine points on 4-of-6 shooting and a free throw. ACU was sent to the foul line 22 times and made 16 baskets, but that paled in comparison to Texas Lutheran, which connected on 29 of 43 tries (.624) as the Wildcats had two players disqualified (West and Lizzy Dimba).after being called for 32 personal fouls.
From the field, TLU shot just a hair over 32 percent and made only 4-of-18 3-pointers. The Bulldogs also were forced into 24 turnovers.
Kristen Lye led Texas Lutheran with 15 points, while Natasha Benavides and Natalie Vella each contributed a dozen.
The Wildcats' four-game homestand continues Monday at 7 p.m. vs. Wayland Baptist. ACU has now won its last four season openers to lift its all-time record to 26-17.
Information provided by ACU athletics department.
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