NACOGDOCHES – The Sam Houston State Bearkats held a late lead, but the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks used a late bucket to force overtime and held on in the extra period for an 83-75 win over the Kats on Saturday afternoon at William R. Johnson Coliseum.
SHSU (16-12, 11-7 SLC) was in position to pick up its first win in Nacogdoches since 2013, holding a 73-71 lead with less than 15 seconds to play; however, SFA’s (25-5, 15-3 SLC) BriAnna Mitchell converted a layup with just six seconds to go to force overtime.
From there the Ladyjacks got bucket on their first possession and outscored the Kats 10-2 in the extra five minutes to hang on for the win.
The Kats will now head to Katy to take part in the Southland Conference Tournament. Coach Ravon Justice’s team will enter as the No. 5 seed and will open up with No. 8 Central Arkansas on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. at the Merrell Center. With a win, the Kats would advance to the tournament quarterfinals to take on No. 4 Abilene Christian.
Freshman Amber Leggett led all players with 22 points off the bench, hitting 9-for-13 from the floor with a pair 3-point buckets and a late jumper that had the Kats in front in the final minute. Jaylonn Walker had 18 points and was 9-for-10 from the foul line, while Jenniffer Oramas had 14 points and three assists in 42 minutes of work.
Lydia Baxter also had four steals, 11 rebounds and six points on the afternoon.
Each of the five SFA starters finished in double figures, led by Alyssa Mayfield’s 17 points, with the Kats winning the bench battle 22-10.