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March 10, 2013

Lankford shooting high at ACU

Weatherford grad reaps kudos in junior-year campaign — hoping team success can continue in postseason

(Continued)

More recently, Mack was selected the LSC Player of the Week in two consecutive weeks in the waning dates of the conference schedule, averaging 24.5 points per game in the latter of the recognized stretches.

And all this while playing through some nagging injuries during the season. Mack has been playing so hard, so long in her career, playing through the health hiccups has become part of her athletic life.

The latest hiccup for ACU, as a team, was dropping its inaugural game in the LSC conference tournament to No. 7 seed Texas A&M/Commerce on Wednesday. Wanting to win the tourney outright to guarantee a berth in the South Central Region, the Wildcats are hoping their poll position coming into the week will be enough to earn an at-large invitation to the Division II tourney.

The Wildcats experienced a coaching change during the offseason before the 2012-13 campaign. There was understandable disappointment throughout the team ranks, but Lankford, who had some familiarity with the incoming coach, was perhaps able to allay some apprehension for her teammates. Recruited by Julie Goodenough when making her plans for the next level, Lankford was already impressed by the coach who was then the head of the program at Charleston Southern, in South Carolina — a bit further from the home fires than Mack wanted to go to address studies and play ball. That Goodenough was coming to ACU, and Lankford’s team, was a bit of a minor miracle.

“We were all pretty bummed when we heard our coaches wouldn’t be back [after my sophomore season], but at the same time, I was excited about Coach [Julie] Goodenough coming to ACU,” Lankford said of the transition. “Because I wanted to attend college closer to home after , I was really disappointed I wouldn’t get to play for her [at Charleston Southern].

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