NEW ORLEANS, La. – Sam Houston State senior Jasmine McCants set a career high in points but the Bearkats were unsuccessful in slowing down New Orleans from the start, falling 78-49 in Southland Conference play from Lakefront Arena on Thursday night.
McCants went 8-of-15 from the field and as many makes from the charity stripe, tallying 24 points – the most for a Sam Houston (0-14 overall, 0-4 SLC) player this season – while raking in seven rebounds in 27 minutes.
No other Bearkat finished in double figures while nine different UNO (8-7, 3-2 SLC) players found the bucket including Randi Brown who totaled 21 points to lead the Privateers.
In all, Sam Houston was limited to its fewest field goals made (13) since Nov. 21 against UTRGV while shooting its lowest field goal percentage (.220) since Nov. 15 at TCU. For the first time this season, the Kats failed to drain a 3-pointer, finishing 0-for-10 from behind the arc.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Sam Houston State was held without a field goal the first eight minutes of the game until Kiera McKinney’s layup with 1:51 remaining in the opening quarter. Despite that, the Bearkats trailed just 17-10, having created opportunities while making their first eight free throw attempts.
After permitting the Privateers to shoot 55 percent, while making 11 of 20 shots in the first period, Sam Houston’s defense rebounded – but its offense could not.
The Bearkats turned to McKinney again underneath, whose layup made it a 29-15 Privateers lead with 7:54 in the second. From that point forward, only McCants would be successful in finding the bucket. The senior added three more jumpers in the frame but the Kats trailed by 19 points at the break.
Sam Houston turned in its best offensive quarter of the evening in the third, but for every opportunity the Privateers had an answer. The Bearkats bench outscored UNO, 11-4 in the quarter and Sam Houston went on a 12-3 run over four minutes to close the deficit to 20 points with 42 seconds left in the third.
UNO extended its lead in the fourth as six Sam Houston turnovers resulted in seven points as the Privateers ran away with a lopsided victory.
The Bearkats continue their two-game swing on Saturday afternoon at Northwestern State. Tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. from Natchitoches, La., with the game scheduled for broadcast online via ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app. Fans can also hear the game online through ksam1017.com.