ACU athletes continue setting records
Being part of one four-overtime game in a basketball career is noteworthy. To be part of two is downright ridiculous.
Now imagine the odds that you were a player in one and a head coach in the other.
Then tack on the fact that you've now been part of the two of the three highest-scoring games in NCAA women’s collegiate basketball history, one at the NCAA Division I level and the other at the NCAA Division II level.
If you can imagine all of that, you are ACU women's basketball coach Shawna Lavender.
In 1997 as a player at SMU, Lavender scored 42 points in a 127-125 quadruple-overtime win over rival TCU in a game that set the NCAA Division I record for most combined points in a game. Then on Jan. 5, 2009, her ACU squad outlasted Texas Woman's, 147-143, in quadruple-overtime in a game that set the all-divisions record for combined points in a game.
So now Lavender has been a part of the highest scoring game in Division I history and the highest scoring game in Division II history. Not only that, but she was on the winning side in both games.
"Pretty strange, huh?" Lavender said when asked about the coincidence. "What are the odds that one person would be involved in two games like that? I'd rather be a player in that situation than a coach, because at least as a player you can have some control in the outcome. As a coach you just have to stand and watch."
As a player at SMU, Lavender scored 42 points to help the Lady Mustangs knock off the Lady Horned Frogs. In the Wildcats’ win over TWU, junior forward Jamie Meyer set a new ACU single-game scoring record with 49 points, eclipsing the old record of 48 set by Janice Mulford in 1981 and topping Lavender's career best.
"I told Jamie after the game I was a little bit upset at her for scoring more points than I did," Lavender said with a laugh. "But if she hadn’t, we wouldn't have won the game."
That's because TWU center Renee Renz scored an LSC single-game record 63 points in a losing cause. The game broke or tied several NCAA, NCAA Division II, LSC and ACU single-game records, including thoseSo that begs the question for ACU athletics fans in regards to the record-setting season: Who’s Next? for most combined points, most points in overtimes by one team (58 by ACU) and combined overtime points (112).
Other ACU records set in the game where field goals made (22 by Meyer), field goal attempts (32 by Kristee Davidson) and assists (16 by Kat Kundmueller). The Wildcats also set team single-game records for points (147), assists (40), field goals made (59) and field goal attempts (112).
The game garnered much national media attention, and stories about the game were a consistent part of ESPN’s SportsCenter coverage on the day of Jan. 6. It was the third time in the last year that ACU has been part of SportsCenter, and it continued a record-breaking athletics year by the Wildcats, whose football team set an NCAA all-divisions record with 93 points in a playoff win over West Texas A&M last November.
Wildcats: Winners on and off the field
The remarkable success of ACU Wildcat student-athletes over the years is a tribute to the athletes, the coaches and the tradition of winning that permeates the program. ACU recruits its student-athletes for their academic and spiritual qualities, as well as their athletic abilities.
The Wildcats have won all-sports titles 24 of their 35 years in the rugged Lone Star Conference, including 13 straight from 1995-96 through the 2007-08 athletic year. ACU has four times recently finished runner-up in competition for the United States Sports Academy Directors' Cup, which recognizes the best all-around sports program in NCAA Division II.
The Wildcats were second in 2007-08, capping one of the best athletic years in school history. ACU is the only school in NCAA Division II athletics to finish in the top 15 in each of the 13 final director's cup standings. In addition to 62 national team championships, many individual student-athletes have been recognized as academic all-Americans and with many other individual honors.
The Wildcats have won 55 NCAA national team championships, which is fourth in NCAA history behind only UCLA, Stanford and USC. ACU's internationally recognized track and field program has produced world-record holders, more than 20 Olympians, several hundred all-America performers and two Olympic gold medalists.
'Texas Sports Dynasty of the Century'
In addition, the program was named the "Texas Sports Dynasty of the Century" by Texas Monthly magazine in November 1999. ACU athletics programs have also won 143 Lone Star Conference titles since joining the LSC in 1973, more than twice the number of titles won by its closest competitor.
ACU student-athletes are not only successful on the field of competition, but in the classroom. The women's basketball team was ranked No. 1 in the nation in terms of grade point average (3.666) during the 2001-02 school year and has been ranked in the nation’s top 25 in each year since.
Also, ACU has produced 27 NCAA post-graduate scholarship honorees since 1966, the fifth-highest total in the state of Texas, trailing only the University of Texas, Trinity, Rice and SMU.
When you add it all up, it's no surprise that we like to say that ACU is "Where Champions Are Made."
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