HUNTSVILLE, Texas – Sam Houston State women’s basketball fell behind 15 points after the first quarter and could not catch up, falling 69-45 to UTRGV on Monday night from Johnson Coliseum.
Sam Houston freshman guard Tia Harston posted a season-high 12 points off the bench, including a 5-for-6 night at the free throw line. Fellow freshman guard Jennifer Oramas added eight points and sunk a pair of 3-pointers while freshman post Kiera McKinney brought in a season-best 10 boards.
The Bearkats (0-4) permitted the Vaqueros (2-2) to shoot 58.8 percent in the opening 10 minutes and three UTRGV players finished in double-figures including Shawnte’ Goff who added a game-high 13 points as part of a 6-for-17 effort from the field.
Sam Houston, which won the battle on the boards, 46-32, for a fourth straight game, will look to find the win column when it begins a season-high eight-game road swing on Friday in Edinburg. The Kats will face Marshall in a neutral site game at 4:30 p.m. and the same Vaqueros squad on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Early in the second quarter, Oramas, who hit a pair of 3-pointers for the second time in four games, drilled a shot from behind the arc to cut the Bearkat deficit to 12 points. After the Kats were held scoreless over the next 3-plus minutes, Sam Houston again turned to freshman, who sunk one from downtown to trim the UTRGV lead to 14 points.
The momentum would be short-lived, however, as the Vaqueros’ drained back-to-back three pointers from Megan Johnson and Idil Turk to push their lead to 23 points with 3:18 remaining in the half. A missed Bearkat layup with 13 seconds remaining turned into a quick bucket for UTRGV, who held a 20-point lead at the break.
Sam Houston produced its highest-scoring third quarter of the season at 15 points but was unable to wrangle up UTRGV, who tallied 22 points and shot 50 percent during the frame. The Bearkat duo of Ashleigh Cooper and Harston accounted for 13 points as Cooper set a career-high with seven points, all coming as part of a 3-for-5 performance in the frame.
With time winding down, UTRGV continued to extend its lead, seeing it reach 31 on a 3-pointer from Angela Villarreal, her only bucket of the contest, with 5:37 left.
To its credit, trailing by 32 points with 3:06 left, the Kats went on an 8-0 run through the remainder of the game, highlighted by five points from Jasmine McCants and a 3-pointer from Harston. The Bearkats held their own in the second and fourth quarters, trailing by a combined two points between the frames but were outscored 45-23 in the first and third periods.