HUNTSVILLE – For the second time in the last six games, Sam Houston State outshot its opponent for most of the game. As has been the case this season, however, turnovers would get the best of the Bearkats.
Sam Houston committed 31 turnovers against a Lamar squad that leads the country in steals per game, falling 70-44 in the first of four straight at Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum on Wednesday evening.
The Kats (0-16 overall, 0-6 Southland) were outscored 34-17 after the first half and never seemed to gain much momentum in the final 20 minutes. For the sixth time this season, senior Jasmine McCants posted double-digit scoring figures, finishing with 14 points on 6-of-12 shooting and a team-high 8 rebounds.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Sam Houston held Lamar (12-4, 5-1 SLC) in check early, bouncing back from a 6-0 deficit to trim the lead to 8-7 on a layup by Lydia Baxter with 4:42 in the opening quarter. The Cardinals responded with a 10-0 run highlighted by a pair of 3-pointers from Moe Kinard and Baileigh O’Dell.
Freshman Jenniffer Oramas ended the Bearkats’ four-minute drought with a jumper but Lamar had built up an 18-9 advantage through the first quarter, including 13 points off Sam Houston turnovers.
Lamar would go quiet offensively towards the end of the first quarter and beginning of the second, going without a basket for all of a combined nine minutes.
Unfortunately, Sam Houston struggled to find offense, going without a basket the first three minutes before Jasmine McCants hit a jumper to trim the Cardinals’ lead to seven with 6:56 in the quarter.
Another big Lamar run – this time a 12-0 burst – extended the lead to 17 points with two minutes remaining in the half. Oramas drained a 3-pointer with 1:21 remaining but it would be the lone Bearkats field over a stretch of nearly seven to minutes in the second.
Sam Houston limited the Cardinals to 10 third-quarter points, the lowest production against the Bearkats this season. Lamar made just three field goals in the frame for 18.8 percent but all three came from behind the arc and Sam Houston only managed 12 points of its own.
Lamar exploded for 26 points over the final quarter, shooting 10-of-15 to put the game out of reach. The Cardinals were led by 19 points from Kiandra Bowers and 18 points from Moe Kinard. The visitors out-rebounded the Kats 45-37.
Sam Houston continues its season-high four-game home stand on Saturday against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. and the game will be part of the Bearkats’ Kids Free Saturday promotion, taking place each Saturday of the regular season.
Head coach Brenda Welch-Nichols on the game…
“For a team that hasn’t won a game at all this year, they come out every day and never quit. That says a lot for them. They have the determination. We talked a lot today about action. I know it didn’t show in the stats but we had a lot of deflections and got after it. There were a lot of things we hadn’t done in a long time.”
Head coach Brenda Welch-Nichols on the turnovers…
“They scored 28 points off of 31 turnovers; that is your game right there. When you look at the difference in the score … but I am not going to take anything away from Lamar. They are a seasoned team. I won’t sit here and say we didn’t fight.”
Head coach Brenda Welch-Nichols on the effort of Jasmine McCants…
“McCants is a kid that can do a lot of good things. We look for her inside that paint. We really need to get the ball inside. I thought we didn’t hit the post game as well as we have in the past. I think that is something we have to go back to looking at.”