By BILL HART
Senior Staff Writer
Peter Kiganya drove home Abilene Christian University’s first home victory Thursday night with an exclamation point. Then he used his defense to secure the Wildcats’ 82-75 win over Cameron University. The sophomore from Kenya took a pass from the smallest Wildcat, 5-2 Kenric White, and slam dunked a shot that put ACU ahead, 79-75, with 1:02 to play. He was fouled on the play and upped the lead to five points. He then grabbed a rebound on a missed Cameron shot with 11.4 seconds left and made both free throws to finish the night with 13 points.
“I just ran down the lane and he (White) gave me a good pass and I went for the basket,” Kiganya said. “On the rebound, well, that’s my main job, getting the ball. I got around my man, I saw the ball and I went for it.” But a major factor in the victory was the Wildcats going into the zone defense in the final four minutes and leading 77-75. The defense was so strong; Cameron wasted a lot of time trying to get a good shot—and never really got one.
“We put it (the zone) in two days ago,” said Coach Shanon Hays. “We were doing a horrible job with our press and were not stopping the ball, we decided to change to the zone. It obviously helped because I think it got them out of rhythm and also, we were fouling too much. I think the zone fits this group well because we are not as quick in some areas and taller in others.” ACU never led by more than seven points the entire game but the Wildcats never trailed by more than three. That came at 73-70 with 6:18 to play, but Jared Mosley hit a jumper and Charles Jackson canned a 3-point basket, his fifth of the night, as ACU regained the lead, 75-73. “I was in a slump the first two games, but in our last two, I got my shot back,” Jackson said. “I shoot it when I feel I am open and I was a little farther out on that last shot. But that’s not abnormal to shoot from there, I have the confidence that I can make it.” That put ACU up 75-73 with 5:44 to play, but James Franklin tied it with a pair of free throws eight seconds later. Mosley, who scored 20 points, hit a turnaround jump shot at 2:43 left to put ACU ahead to stay. Then Kiganya made sure the Wildcats stayed there. Jackson had 16 points, Kiganya 13 and Michael Obudho 12 for the Wildcats. Carvelle Smith had 17 points for Cameron, now 3-3, while Rodney Foster had 11 and Alex Miller 10.
Free throws kept the Aggies in the game. They were 26 of 31 for the game and 18 of 22 in the second half. At one time, they were 17 of 19.