Saturday, Dec. 8 • Lafayette, La. • 2:00 p.m. • Cajundome (12,362)
Sam Houston State (4-3, 0-0 Southland) at Louisiana (2-5, 0-0 Sun Belt)
Live Stats • Listen • @BearkatsWBB on Twitter
HUNTSVILLE – The Sam Houston State Bearkats will go in search of their third consecutive victory and second straight win on the road on Saturday afternoon when they travel to take on the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns at the Cajundome.
Fans can follow along via live stats, while an audio broadcast will also be available on Lafayette’s ESPN 1420 AM. Updates can also be found by following @BearkatsWBB on Twitter.
The game will also be broadcast on Cox Sports TV, but tape delayed until Sunday, Dec. 9 at 8 p.m. on CST.
SERIES vs LOUISIANA
The Ragin’ Cajuns currently lead the all-time series with the Bearkats 5-2 with Saturday’s game set to be the eighth meeting in the history of the series. The teams last met in SHSU’s last trip to Lafayette in 2014 when UL pulled out a 65-46 win despite a career-high from then sophomore Taylor Dorsey. No players on the current roster for the Kats have ever played vs the Ragin’ Cajuns.
TAKEAWAYS FROM 94-46 WIN OVER ST. THOMAS (TX)
- Jenniffer Oramas turned in a big game against the Celts on Saturday, nearly amassing a triple-double in the Bearkats’ win. The junior guard finished with 18 points and set new career highs with 11 assists and eight steals in 38 minutes of work. The 11 assists were the most by a Bearkat since Kamry Orr had 12 vs HBU on Feb. 13, 2016, while the eight steals were the most by a Kat since Ray Alexander had eight against ORU on Nov. 30, 2009.
- Sam Houston hit five 3-point baskets in their 94-point output, but did most of their damage inside and on the glass. They owned a 52-33 advantage on the boards and hauled in 19 offensive rebounds while finishing with a 66-6 advantage on points in the paint.
- The game served as Oramas’ first double-double of her career, but she wasn’t the only Bearkat to put up a double-double in the game as Lydia Baxter picked up her sixth of her career with 14 points and 10 rebounds. It did, however, serve as the first time the Kats posted two double-doubles in the same contest since Angela Beadle (14 pts, 11 reb) and Jasmine McCants (13 pts, 11 reb) did so against Nicholls on March 10, 2016.
- With the win, Sam Houston improved to 3-0 at Johnson Coliseum this year. It is the team’s first 3-0 start at home since the 2013-14 season when they defeated Louisiana, HBU and A&M-Commerce to kick off the home slate.
- Jaylonn Walker played just 16 minutes in the game, but was efficient in her time on the floor. The junior transfer put in 14 points and was the only player on the Bearkat roster with multiple 3-point makes. She also had five steals in that time, marking the third time this year in just seven games she has picked up at least five swipes. She currently ranks second in the Southland with 3.9 stelas per game.
ORAMAS, WALKER EARN ALL-TOURNAMENT HONORS
Oramas and Walker were each named to the all-tournament team after the Kats’ 1-1 weekend in Hattiesburg at the Lady Eagle Thanksgiving Classic. Oramas averaged 21.0 points and 6.0 assists per game over the weekend, while Walker averaged 19.5 points, 3.5 assists and 3.0 rebounds. Oramas’ 28 points in the loss to Troy set a new career high for the junior guard. The total is the fourth most by a Southland Conference player this season, and the most points by a Bearkat since Angela Beadle had 28 points against Lamar on March 2, 2016.
KATS PICK UP EARLY SEASON ROAD WIN
Sam Houston’s win over Southern Miss was the program’s first non-conference road win since a 53-51 win at Texas Southern during the 2015-16 season. The Kats still trailed by as much as 13 in the third quarter against Southern Miss, but made up for it and then some. Still, after erasing the lead once, they still trailed 58-56 before Dominique Maxwell nailed her first bucket of the game, a 3-pointer at the 4:01 mark of the fourth quarter that put the Kats ahead for good. That triple sparked a 7-0 spurt in a span of less than three minutes for SHSU to pull out the win.
KATS PICKED 13TH IN SOUTHLAND PRESEASON POLLS
If the Bearkats needed any added motivation for the season, they got it when the Southland Conference preseason poll was released in October. The Kats were selected to finish 13th in the 13-team league in a vote of SLC coaches and sports information directors.
KATS HIT CENTURY MARK TWICE
With a pair of free throws by Tia Harston in the final minute of the game, the Bearkats hit the 100-point plateau in its early-season win over Jarvis Christian. It was the first time Sam Houston had scored 100 points in a game since a 102-72 win over Nicholls all the way back in the 1994-95 season, a span of 671 games.
They followed it up two games later with 101 points against Wiley College. Those games are just the fourth and fifth times in program history that the Kats have scored 100 points in a game. It is also just the second time it has happened twice in the same season. The first time came in 1987-88 when they scored a program record 128 points and then later 101 points, both in wins over UT Pan American.
TURNING OVER A NEW LEAF
One of the biggest impacts that Coach Ravon Justice has made on the Bearkats this season has been on the defensive end, and the numbers are speaking as such. After forcing only 14 turnovers in the season opener at LSU, the Kats have since forced at least 24 turnovers in each of their last six games. SHSU only forced that number of turnovers in two games last year, and prior to last season had not forced at least 24 turnovers in a single game since 2010-11.
The Kats forced a season-high 32 turnovers on Saturday vs St. Thomas and are forcing 26.5 turnovers per game since the season opener vs LSU. They currently rank third in the Southland with 24.7 turnovers forced per game.
HARRELL, ORAMAS MOVING UP SHSU 3-POINT RECORD LIST
With two seasons left to play, junior guards Rachel Harrell and Oramas have the chance to move up the list at SHSU in made 3-point field goals. Just over midway through their playing careers Harrell has already canned 87 triples and Oramas has 70. Harrell only needs three more 3-pointers to move into the all-time top 10 at SHSU. Britni Martin holds the SHSU all-time record for made 3-point field goals with 311.
GETTING A LEGGETT UP
Freshman Amber Leggett put in another 11 points against St. Thomas on Saturday, marking the fourth straight game she’s reached double figures in scoring and the fifth time in seven games this year. She currently is averaging 10.7 points per game, which is third in the Southland among freshmen, trailing only Lamar true freshman Miya Crump (14.9 ppg) and McNeese redshirt freshman Callie Maddox (14.3 ppg).
HAYNES MAKING IMPACT IN FIRST YEAR
Coach Ravon Justice’s addition of La’Sha Haynes from her days at Prairie View is working out so far for the Kats. In addition to her six steals against Wichita State, Haynes added a team-high eight rebounds. She’s averaging 6.5 rebounds per game - 12th in the SLC - and has led the Kats on the glass four times, including against three of its four D1 opponents.