PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas – Sam Houston State trimmed a 13-point deficit into a one possession game with three-and-a-half minutes remaining at Prairie View A&M on Saturday afternoon but could come no closer, falling 75-65 at William J. Nicks Arena.
Sam Houston freshman Rachel Harrell sunk a season-high four three pointers, re-setting her career high while leading the Bearkats (0-8) with 14 points in the loss. Lydia Baxter, Jasmine McCants and Kiera McKinney each accounted for eight points while Jada Ballew recorded a season-best four assists.
The Kats could not slow down the Prairie View (4-4) tandem of Jeronia Allen and Alexus Parker, who accounted for a combined 41 points and 18 rebounds. Allen set a new season best with a game-high 23 points and seven boards while Parker tallied 18 points and a game-best 11 rebounds.
Despite the loss, Sam Houston, which has struggled to click offensively, produced a season-high in points, free throw percentage (86.7) and field goals made (23). Harrell’s five made field goals rank tied for second-most by a Bearkat this season.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Sam Houston took a 7-6 lead with 5:35 to go the first quarter on an Angela Delaney free throw before the Panthers sparked an 8-0 run. Backed by a pair of three-pointers, Prairie View A&M pushed its lead back to seven at 20-13 with another from downtown with two seconds remaining the frame.
Trailing 25-13 thanks to another Prairie View three at 8:44 in the second quarter, Sam Houston began chipping away. Ballew followed a Delaney layup with a pair of free throws, trimming the deficit to eight with 6:57 to go in the half.
The Panthers pushed their lead back to 11 on a pair of occasions where it stood at the 4:43 media timeout. Then, Sam Houston put together a 7-0 run, highlighted by a three-pointer from Harrell to make it 31-27 in favor of Prairie View with 2:47 left.
Another Harrell three-pointer brought the Panthers lead back to five at 35-30 with 52 seconds remaining, where it stood entering the half. The Bearkats posted their highest first and second quarter scoring outputs with 13 and 17 respectively.
The Kats continued plugging away in the third, cutting the deficit to two with 9:22 in the quarter on a Delaney free throw. With the Prairie View lead back to five, Ashleigh Cooper got into the action, nailing a jumper with 6:17 to go making it a three-point game.
A pair of makes from the charity stripe made the Panthers lead, 40-39, but following a Sam Houston timeout, Prairie View put together an 11-0 run, extending the lead to 51-39 with 3:37 in the third. Less than one minute later, a Panthers three-pointer pushed the lead to 13, its highest margin of the game.
After cutting the Panthers margin to seven with 8:44 in the fourth on a pair of McCants free throws, Prairie View ran off five straight points for a 64-53 advantage – where it stood until Morghen Day drilled a three-pointer to bring it within eight points with 6:25 left.
Ballew added a three-pointer and four straight made free throws by McKinney and Baxter gave the Kats new life, trailing by three points, 68-65 with 3:31 left. Late turnovers and key misses proved to be the difference, however, as Prairie View held the Kats scoreless for the remainder, while finishing the game on an 8-0 run to close it out.
After a week off for final exams, Sam Houston continues its eight-game road trip one week from Wednesday with a visit to LSU. Tipoff is scheduled for 11 a.m. from the Maravich Center with the game being streamed online through the SEC Network Plus, ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.