Wednesday, Feb. 7 • Huntsville, Texas • 7:00 p.m. CT • Dugan Wellness Center (1,000)
Sam Houston State (4-16, 1-10 Southland) vs A&M-Corpus Christi (13-8, 6-4 Southland)
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HUNTSVILLE – The Sam Houston State Bearkats will try to add another notch to their belt as they face off against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Wednesday night at the Dugan Wellness Center.
Sam Houston will look to take care of business during their midweek one-game road trip as they look to get back in the winning column after losing in their last two contests by a combined six points. The Kats are eyeing the final spot in the Southland Conference Tournament in Katy in March, but have their work cut out for them and desperately need a win to keep their hopes alive before traveling back to Johnson Coliseum for their next two matches.
Coach Brenda Nichols’ team led the whole second half until a 7-2 surge in the final two minutes caused the Kats to drop a heartbreaker to fourth-place Abilene Christian on Saturday. That was the second consecutive heartbreaking loss for the Kats as they fell to McNeese thanks to final second heroics by the Cowgirls’ Dede Sheppard.
The Islanders are firmly in the tournament field and have won six of their first 10 Southland matches, including three straight wins over Southeastern Louisiana, Houston Baptist and UIW. Defense is the Islanders calling card as they only allow 56.1 points per contest and allow opponents to only shoot .369 from the field, which gives them the second best marks in both categories in the league.
The Bearkats have upped their game in the past couple outings averaging 67.5 points a game in their last two contests compared to 54.4 in their first nine Southland matches.
In the past two matches Lydia Baxter has been on a tear, notching a double-double against McNeese with 17 points and a career-high 15 rebounds, and scored 12 against Abilene Christian on Saturday. Rachel Harrell has also scored in double digits in both contests and will look to keep her streak alive as well.
Brittany Mbamalu (11.7 ppg) and Emma Young (10.8 ppg, Southland-Best .425 3P %) are the only Islanders averaging in double figures, while Dalesia Booth is leading the Southland in blocks per game with 1.4.
SERIES vs Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
The Islanders own a 17-9 record in the all-time series with the Bearkats and will go into Wednesday having won six of the last seven in the series. Prior to the recent run for the Islanders, Sam Houston had picked up seven straight wins dating from the 2010-11 to the 2013-14 seasons. When the Islanders and Bearkats faced off the first time this season the Islanders picked up the victory 67-57 powered by the duo of Mbamalu, Young and Booth who combined for 50 of the Islanders 67 points, Jenniffer Oramas led the Kats with 16 points on the night.