BATON ROUGE, La. – Sam Houston could not overcome a slew of turnovers, falling 89-41 at LSU in front of 4,777 animated children as part of Elementary Day at the Maravich Center on Wednesday afternoon.
Sam Houston turned the ball over a season-high 34 times and suffered its largest defeat of the season, dropping to 0-9 in what has been a challenging non-conference slate. The Bearkats were led by nine points from Jennifer Oramas and Lydia Baxter’s six rebounds.
Six LSU players notched double-digit scoring including Raigyne Moncrief who led the way with 22 on 6 for 12 shooting. The Tigers, who improved to 8-2 in the victory, held Sam Houston to season lows for field goal attempts (38) and rebounds (27).
HOW IT HAPPENED
LSU wasted little time early, using a 15-3 run while holding Sam Houston scoreless for over six minutes to close the first quarter to take a commanding 18-5 lead. Not helping their cause, the Bearkats recorded nine first quarter turnovers resulting in 11 LSU points.
The Tigers used a full-court press to slow down any Sam Houston momentum. LSU pushed its advantage to 22-5 before Sam Houston senior Morghen Day sunk her first three pointer and the second of the game for the Bearkats with 8:20 in the second period.
After being held scoreless for 3:06 in the second, Kiera McKinney found the basket, putting Sam Houston into double-figures, trailing 27-10 with 5:10 in the second. The layup was just Sam Houston’s second bucket inside as the Tigers would go on to outscore Sam Houston 56-10 in the paint.
Late in the second quarter, Sam Houston came out of the media timeout, seemingly finding its groove. The Bearkats made four straight from the field while holding LSU to 2 of 9 shooting. Jennifer Oramas and Tia Harston each hit from behind the arc, bringing the Tigers’ deficit to 30-18.
LSU responded with under two minutes remaining, courtesy of a 7-0 run that spanned just 36 seconds and upped the home lead to 37-18. The Kats turned the ball over four times in that span. Sam Houston was held without a point the final 2:30 of the half.
More miscues the third quarter and a 20-0 run to begin the frame gave the Tigers their biggest lead up to that point at 41 points with 4:20 in the frame. Sam Houston found the scoreboard in the third as Jada Ballew was fouled on the way to the basket, sinking a pair from the charity stripe with 3:57 in the quarter.
Sam Houston largely stuck with the Tigers in the final frame, scoring its second-most fourth quarter points (17) before going without a field goal during a stretch of 3:51.
Sam Houston closes out the non-conference portion of its season on Monday. The Bearkats visit former Southland Conference-rival Texas State with tipoff scheduled for 7 p.m. from San Marcos, Texas. The game will be the sixth straight on the road and is the final in 2016.
Head coach Brenda Welch-Nichols on the game…
“I think boxing out and the put-backs hurt us the worst. We’ve taken pride in our ability to rebound and we knew they were very good on their offensive put-backs. We just kept fighting with the girls to box out. They were much bigger and more physical. I give it to our players, they kept fighting. I have seen a lot of improvement.”
Head coach Brenda Welch-Nichols on the team continuing to fight late…
“It says a lot about the team. A lot of teams that haven’t won a ball game would be throwing their hands up and giving up. This team, we work hard every day in practice. They aren’t quitting. They are battling every day. Stats and scores can’t show the heart that they have right now.
Head coach Brenda Welch-Nichols on team development…
“I think as we get into conference, it will pan out better. They will find their groove as we are maturing together. I saw a lot of positives today as far as how we played well together. That is something we hadn’t been doing.”