HUNTSVILLE – A hot start for Sam Houston State led to a 24-point lead going into the half which was more than enough to propel the Kats to a 83-64 win over Houston Baptist on Saturday afternoon at Johnson Coliseum.
The Bearkats (14-11, 9-6 SLC) found their rhythm from beyond the arc early and knocked down nine triples and outscored the Huskies (7-17, 2-12 SLC) 51-27 in the first half of play. The win clinched a berth for SHSU in next month's Southland Conference Tournament in Katy in what will be the program's first appearance at the Merrell Center since making a run to the title game in 2016.
Jaylonn Walker played a huge first half for the Bearkats scoring 19 points on five 3-pointers and two jump shots less than 12 minutes into the game. She ended the night with 22 points, six rebounds and three assists.
Sam Houston saw three other players end the game with double-digits in the scoring column with Lydia Baxter with 14, Kiera McKinney with 13 and Amber Leggett with 13. Jennifer Oramas added a team-high 10 assists, with SHSU assisting on 31 made buckets for the game.
The Huskies were led by Sophie Taylor who had 20 points, five rebounds and three assists.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Bearkats started the first quarter hot from beyond the arc, collecting five 3-pointers in the first 10 minutes of play
- Sam Houston shot 50 percent from field goal range in the first quarter, going into the second with a comfortable 16-point lead
- Walker tied a career-high five made 3-point buckets in the first 12 minutes of the game, she led the Kats with 19 points in the half
- McKinney came off the bench and contributed seven points and four rebounds for Sam Houston
- An impressive first half for the Kats left them with nine triples and just seven turnovers opposed to the Huskies one made 3-pointer and 17 turnovers
- Sam Houston started the second half strong scoring five points in the first 40 seconds of play
- The Kats started to slow down through the third quarter and traded buckets back-and-forth with HBU
- The final period of play for the Bearkats proved to have another strong start going on a 5-0 scoring surge and two forced Husky turnovers in the opening minutes
- A late 6-0 run by SHSU led by two buckets for McKinney solidified a win for the Kats and gave McKinney a double-double for the game
The Bearkats return to action for their final regular season game on Wednesday, February 27th against New Orleans at Johnson Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m.