Strong second half leads Lady Cats to road win

KINGSVILLE, Texas - Junior forward Renata Marquez  poured in 21 points Saturday afternoon to lead the ACU Wildcats to their fifth straight victory, 76-61 over Texas A&M-Kingsville in Lone Star Conference women's basketball action at the Steinke P.E. Center.

The win pushes the Wildcats to 12-3 overall and 7-2 in the LSC as they matched their overall win total and conference win total from last season when they finished 12-14 and 7-13.  The Lady Javelinas, meanwhile, fall to 3-12 and 1-8 with the loss.

ACU will be back in action Wednesday in San Angelo when the Wildcats take on the Rambelles of Angelo State at 5:30 p.m. the Junell Center.

After leading by as many as 13 points in the first half, the Wildcats saw that lead evaporate over the last nine minutes of play as Kingsville outscored ACU 20-4 to take a 40-37 lead to halftime.

But the second half belonged to the Wildcats as they scored the first four points of the half on a layup by Marquez and a layup by Shannon Sanders to give them a 41-40 lead with 18:22 to play in the game.  ACU would not trail again, and in fact that 4-0 start was the beginning of a 23-8 run in the first 11:56 of the second half that pushed ACU's lead back to double digits at 60-48 with 8:04 to play.

Marquez had eight points in the run with two 3-pointers to go along with the half-opening layup.  Sadie Dickinson added six points, Kynzie Newman three points and Sanders, Savannah Smith and Emily Miller two points apiece.  Marquez capped the run with a 3-pointer to give the Wildcats a 12-point lead.

ACU's lead grew to as many as 17 points later in the second half before the Wildcats settled for the 15-point win.

Aside from Marquez's 21 points (7 of 12 shooting, including 3 of 3 from 3-point range), Kelsey Smith had 14 points and Smith added a career-high 13 points.  ACU played without Mackenzie Lankford, who was injured late in Tuesday's home win over Incarnate Word, but freshman Whitney West started in her place and had five points, three rebounds and three assists.

Information provided by ACU athletics department.

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