SAN MARCOS, Texas – Sam Houston State could not grab its first win in its final non-conference matchup, as Texas State pulled away from the Bearkats, 69-46 on Monday night from Strahan Coliseum.
Freshman guard Jenniffer Oramas recorded a season-high 18 points highlighted by a 10-for-11 performance at the free throw line. She added a pair of 3-pointers but finished as the only Bearkat in double-figures. Jasmine McCants also tallied nine points.
Sam Houston (0-10) opens Southland Conference play in two weeks with a visit to Houston Baptist. After taking on McNeese in Lake Charles, La., three days later, the team will return home for the first time since Nov. 21 with a Jan. 7 tilt against Nicholls.
HOW IT HAPPENED
After a challenging start to begin the game, Sam Houston regained its footing, using a McCants jumper as time expired in the first quarter to trim Texas State’s (4-6) lead to seven points at 13-6. The field goal came after the Kats went six-plus minute without a point. Despite the drought, Sam Houston limited the Bobcats to just one field goal in the time frame.
Oramas, who entered the game atop all Southland Conference in 3-pointers, pulled the game within four with her first trey of the game with 8:06 in the second quarter. Kiera McKinney would add a layup soon thereafter but Texas State was not done.
The Bobcats pushed their lead to 15 with 19 seconds to go in the half, doing so while holding the Bearkats scoreless the final 2:02 including a 0-for-7 drought from the field. To its credit defensively, Sam Houston held the Bobcats to 1-of-13 from behind the arch in the opening half.
The Bearkats turned up the defensive effort in the third, holding Texas State to 1-of-10 during a stretch in which it outscored the Bobcats 17-10, bringing the Bobcats’ advantage down to five points as McKinney drilled her first 3-pointer in a Sam Houston uniform.
Texas State responded with a 9-0 run over 1:10 in the late stages of the third quarter, holding Sam Houston scoreless for 2:05. The Bobcats pushed their lead to 15 points on a 3-pointer from Taeler Deer with five seconds left in the third, her second trey of the night.
The Bobcats opened the fourth quarter on an 11-1 run, limiting Sam Houston without a point over 5:04, building their biggest lead of the game at 61-36 with 4:43 to go.
Oramas put an end to the run at 3:59, draining a 3-pointer to match a season-high with 15 points. Less than one minute later, the freshman hit 1-of-2 from the free throw line to re-set her season-best with 16.
The Bearkats committed 21 turnovers, creating only 10 from the Bobcats. Sam Houston was outscored 28-6 in points off turnovers. Sam Houston matched a season-high with 16 made free throws, coming on 22 total opportunities.
Ashleigh Cooper matched a career high with 3 blocks, her first three-block performance since Nov. 23 a season ago. McKinney added a block of her own and has tallied at least one in seven of 10 games this season. Rachel Harrell recorded her first as a Bearkat.