HUNTSVILLE – Sam Houston blew away several previous offensive bests as five players hit double-figures in a 92-73 rout of Northwestern State on Thursday night at Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum.
The win was the third in four tries at home for the Bearkats, who shot an impressive 62 percent on the night. Jasmine McCants posted 22 points, leading Sam Houston to a season-high in points -- 14 more than its previous best.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Sam Houston used an early 6-0 run, taking a 12-6 advantage on a layup by Jasmine McCants with 6:20 in the frame. The Bearkats were lethal from the 3-point line as Morghen Day added a trey with 4:38 left and another McCants jumper extended the lead to 11 points soon thereafter.
Northwestern State would come back, trimming the lead to four with 20 seconds left in the opening frame on a Beatrice Attura layup, but McCants, who finished with 10 first-quarter points, pushed the lead back to six on a jumper with six seconds remaining.
The squads went back-and-forth in the second, each scoring 18 points in the frame. After a McCants jumper gave Sam Houston a 5-point lead with 8:50 left, the Demons responded with a 5-0 run, tying the game at 27-all on a Nia Randall layup.
Down the stretch, the Bearkats responded, building their lead back to eight points on a McCants bucket and pair of Jenniffer Oramas free throws. The 8-0 run was sparked by a Rachel Harrell 3-pointer with 2:54 left and Sam Houston entered the break with a six-point advantage.
The lead reached double-digits with 6:10 in the third as the Kats responded to a Beatrice Attura 3-pointer to score nine straight points capped by another Day 3-pointer, resulting in a 14-point advantage and a Northwestern State timeout.
Day sunk another from downtown and added a jumper two possessions later to keep the lead at 13. Oramas and McCants sunk jumpers on two of the three final possessions, extending the lead to 15.
After hitting 7-of-8 field goals down the stretch, Sam Houston turned to its reserves, back by a 20-point advantage. McKinney and Day added back-to-back layups with 7:56 remaining and Sam Houston used a 10-2 run to put the game away.
A pair of Tia Harston free throws and another McCants jumper allowed Sam Houston’s advantage to hit 22 points with 3:20 remaining.
Head coach Brenda Welch-Nichols on the performance from Jasmine McCants…
“McCants just matched her number – 22 for 22. She did a great job. She had the energy and had it rolling. We gave a lot of breaks. We rotated about every two minutes. They were good and fresh. I think she has struggled in the finishes and tonight she put it all together.”
Head coach Brenda Welch-Nichols on the offensive output…
“I just thought the energy level was great. We wanted to move the ball and have that energy. I think the tone was set early. It busted out from nowhere. I thought the post players did a really good job. We moved Cooper with McCants to give a different balance. Mixing that up helped. Our guards did a very good job.”
Senior guard Morghen Day on the difference in the second outing vs. NSU…
“We’ll always be the underdogs but we came out and said we had nothing to lose. You come out whenever we lose and give it our all. It’s kind of fun to get some upsets. After I hit the first 3-pointer, I just wanted to play possession-by-possession. My shot has been off so once the second one went I was really feeling it.”
Senior center Jasmine McCants on what was working offensively…
“We knew we were the underdogs. We gave it all we had. We just played like we know how. That was the mindset. We felt like it was our time to get them back and show them that was not the team we were. I noticed when everyone was hitting shots, the bench was hyped and everyone on the court was hyped.”
Freshman guard Jenniffer Oramas on the victory…
“We have been really working hard in practice and focusing on good defense. We were just on today. Hopefully that continues throughout the season. I really just have to be myself and have confidence. We’re a young team. I haven’t had a block since high school. It really got me going.”