EDINBURG, Texas – Sam Houston State received strong performances from Jennifer Oramas and Ashleigh Cooper but could not overcome a strong second quarter from Marshall, falling 73-50 to the Thundering Herd in its opener from the Feast On The Border, hosted by UTRGV.
Oramas led the Bearkats, posting a season-high 11 points on 3-for-11 shooting including a trio from behind the arc. Cooper went 50 percent from the field (4 for 8), tallying nine points while Morghen Day posted seven rebounds against the Herd.
The Bearkats (0-5) trailed by just three at the end of the first quarter, overcoming an early 8-0 deficit, scoring eight start, capped by a jumper from Cooper to knot the game at eight-all. The Thundering Herd scored five straight before Cooper added another layup and the Kats held Marshall (4-0) scoreless over the final 1:36 of the opening quarter.
Sam Houston was held to just 23.5 percent shooting in the second quarter, scoring the first nine points of the frame before Jasmine McCants drained a jumper with 8:03 remaining to make it 22-12. Less than one minute later, Oramas sank a 3-pointer to make it an eight-point game.
Freshman Rachel Harrell, who ranked near the top of the Southland Conference in 3-pointers entering the day, made it a 27-20 game, nailing a shot behind the arc with 5:16 left in the half. Then, with 3:55 remaining, a Cooper layup trimmed the lead to six at 28-22.
The Thundering Herd extended the lead to 13 with 1:16 left on a Logan Fraley 3-pointer before Cooper sank a pair of shots from the charity stripe to keep the Sam Houston deficit at 11 entering the break.
Tia Harston added a team-high six points in the period as Sam Houston accounted for 13 points in the quarter but Taylor Porter and Marshall were just as effective offensively. Coming off the bench, Porter added seven points, including a pair of free throws to push the lead to 19 with 1:34 left.
Sam Houston kept it close, using another Oramas three-pointer to trim the Thundering Herd lead to 11 with 3:38 in the quarter. After Porter answered with a pair of free throws, Harston responded with a three of her own at 2:38 to make it a 12-point game,
The Kats could not muster anything in the final 10 minutes offensively, despite holding Marshall to 33.3 percent shooting. Sam Houston shot just 17.6 percent from the field as Oramas and Harrell each accounted for three points and Day brought in four boards.
Sam Houston continues its eight-game road trip on Saturday, closing out the Feast On The Border against UTRGV. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. as the Kats look to bounce back after falling 69-45 on Monday against the Vaqueros at Johnson Coliseum.