Southland Tournament: New Orleans vs Abilene Christian Preview
New Orleans vs Abilene Christian Preview
That is all that separates New Orleans (19-12, 12-6) or Abilene Christian (26-6, 14-4) from going dancing.
For Abilene, the dream the school had six years ago when the Wildcats began their transition from NCAA Division II membership to NCAA Division I affiliation, the thought was almost preposterous that the Wildcats would ever play in the NCAA Tournament.
Now, here we are. The Wildcats got to this point with a 69-66 win over Southeastern Louisiana in the semifinals thanks in part to some upperclassmen leadership and a freshman coming up in the clutch.
Senior Jaren Lewis had a double-double 17 points and 11 rebounds, junior Payten Ricks led the way with 22 points and freshman Damien Daniels added 12 points with six of those coming on free throws as he went 6-for-6 at the charity stripe in the final 40 seconds.
“At the end of the day, we’re 40 minutes away from playing in the NCAA Tournament, and four or six years ago, that was a pipe dream for this program,” said Golding, who played at ACU and is in his eighth season as the head coach. “But we’ve still got one to go get and I know New Orleans and I know how good they are and how hard they’ll play. But we’re excited to be in this position and just have a chance to play for a spot in the tournament.”
For New Orleans–they dominated the tempo from the opening tip over SHSU.
Jorge Rosa matched his career-high in his biggest game as a Privateer as the senior went 7-of-7 from the field and 4-of-4 from deep to pace three double-digit scorers in the University of New Orleans’ (19-12) 79-76 victory over top-seed Sam Houston State University (21-11) Friday evening at the Merrell Center. It was a game MFST previewed and whiffed on in our prediction.
“I have to give credit to my teammates,” said Rosa about his career night. “They found me at the right spot and all the credit goes to them.”
The Bearkats never led in the game.
LINE: -5 Abilene Christian
Dan’s Bet: Abilene Christian ML
Score Prediction: Abilene Christian 71 New Orleans 68