It's been a rough start to Southland Conference play for the McNeese State women's basketball team.
The Cowgirls have lost their first three SLC games, they have been outscored by an average of 25.7 points per game while failing to reach the 60-point mark in any of those games.
The quest for their first conference win won't be easy either as preseason SLC favorite Abilene Christian comes to town to play the Cowgirls at 6:30 p.m. today in the Health and Human Performance Complex.
While McNeese (3-9, 0-3 SLC) has lost three games in a row, ACU (11-1, 3-0) is on a seven-game winning streak.
And that's far from where the differences end.
ACU is one of the nation's top offensive teams, ranking fifth in Division I in scoring offense (86.2 points per game), third in field goal percentage (50.3 percent) and 3-pointers made per game (10.8), 12th in 3-point field goal percentage (38.8 percent), and 11th in assists per game (18.7).
On the other side, McNeese has struggled to score, shooting 37.3 percent from the field.
Cowgirls head coach Kacie Cryer says that her team has to maintain a positive attitude during this stretch, while also realizing that they need to win.
"We have to take the positives, continue to keep their heads up," Cryer said after McNeese's 70-57 loss to Central Arkansas on Saturday. "But continue to understand that we've got to work and get better because we need to start getting some wins right here. It's going to be a long grind. The Southland Conference is a battle every night."
In addition to being a favorite to win the SLC, ACU is also one of the premier mid-major teams in the country. The Wildcats are ranked No. 11 in the CollegeInsider Mid-Major Top 25.
The Wildcats have four players who average double-figure scoring. Senior guard Breanna Wright leads ACU in multiple categories, averaging 16.2 points, five assists, and 2.5 steals per game. Fellow senior guard Dominique Golightly averages 14.6 points per game and is shooting 42.2 percent from 3-point range.
But just because ACU is an elite offensive team doesn't mean that it can't play defense. The Wildcats are allowing 59.7 points per game and their 12.7 steals per game ranks ninth nationally.
"They bring a tough challenge," Cryer said of ACU. "Their size … they're very big in the post and at the guard play. They start five seniors with a lot of experience, and they've won a lot of games. They're ranked in the mid-major poll for a reason."
Tonight will be the seventh meeting in the series. After McNeese won the first matchup, the Wildcats have won the next five, including a 109-52 victory in Abilene last season.