Without ever trailing on Thursday night, the Sam Houston women's basketball team beat the Lumberjacks 76-68 and clinched at least a share of the Southland Conference regular-season championship.
The Bearkats, who improved to 13-4 in conference play and 17-12 overall, shot 38.2 percent from the field.
Sam Houston's seniors paved the way. Britni Martin scored 19 points. Sequeena Thomas totaled 18 points and nine rebounds. Chanice Smith scored 12 points.
Despite only shooting 25.9 percent in the second half, Sam Houston kept attacking the glass, which allowed them to get to the free-throw line where the Kats shot 88.5 percent.
"We weren't scoring, so we knew we needed to get to the line," said Martin, who led the Kats with 19 points and was 10-for-10 from the free-throw line.
The Bearkats were leading 61-53 when the Lumberjacks (7-10, 12-16) went on a 8-2 run to cut the lead to 64-61 with 1:24 left to play.
Sam Houston senior post Sequeena Thomas, who had 18 points and nine rebounds, acquired her fifth foul after trying to stop Lumberjacks guard Brittney Matthew from scoring.
Matthew had a chance to cut the lead to 64-63, but missed two critical free throws.
The Bearkats scored their next three points on free throws to increase the lead to 67-61 with 35.5 seconds left.
Kats post Angela Beadle defended well against Stephen F. Austin forward Annette Davis and caused her to missed the layup.
After Beadle got the rebound, Davis pushed her and got a technical foul that put the Bearkats on the line for four shots due to Sam Houston also being in the double bonus.
Beadle and Martin both sank each of their free throws to stretch the lead to 71-61 and put the game out of reach with 31 seconds to go.
"Beadle has gotten a lot tougher over the years," Thomas said. "The fact that she came out and work hard, played hard. ... She gave us the momentum that was pretty huge for us."
With the victory, the Bearkats clinched one of the top two seeds in next week's conference tournament and receive byes through the first two rounds and into the tourney semifinals.