STEPHENVILLE - The ACU Wildcats set a modern-day school record for fewest field goals in a half Saturday night as they hit just two in the decisive opening 20 minutes of a 64-50 loss to Tarleton State in Lone Star Conference men's basketball action at Wisdom Gym.
The Wildcats' 17th straight regular-season loss against Tarleton State in Stephenville dropped them to 4-4 overall and 1-3 in the LSC as they dropped their third straight conference game. ACU opened league play with a 59-58 win at West Texas A&M on Nov. 28, but haven't been able to build on that momentum.
ACU lost a pair of two-point games prior to the game against the Texans, but Saturday's game was never that close.
Much like last year's game in Stephenville when the Texans jumped out to a 25-10 lead in the first 12 minutes of the game, ACU found itself in a big early hole. The Texans climbed all over the Wildcats, jumping out to a 21-5 lead in the first 12 minutes and never looked back.
ACU's first field goal of the game came on a jumper by Parker Wentz at the 15:33 mark of the game to cut Tarleton's lead to 9-4. ACU wouldn't hit another field goal until Eric Lawton hit a jumper with 2:22 left in the first half to make it a 36-12 game.
The Wildcats hit just 2 of 25 shots from the field in the first half (8.0 percent), including going 0 for 6 from 3-point range. ACU has struggled at the free throw line all season, but actually went 8 for 10 from the charity stripe in the first half.
Senior center Steven Werner was 0 for 8 from the field in the first half, while Elliott Lloyd was 0 for 4 and Lawton 1 for 7.
The Wildcats opened the second half with an 18-2 run that got them to within 40-30, and they had a chance on a couple of occasions to cut the lead to single digits, but they never got the Texans' lead below 10 points in the second half.
Lawton led the Wildcats' early second-half burst with 12 points, and it was his jumper with 12:19 to play that pulled ACU to within 10 points at 40-30. But the Texans outscored 24-20 the rest of the way to improve to 5-2 overall and 1-1 in LSC play.
Lawton led the Wildcats with 15 points (12 in the second half), while Wentz had nine points. After shooting 8.0 percent in the first half, the Wildcats shot 53.8 percent (14 of 26) in the second half.