Game 24
Wednesday, Feb. 20 • Thibodaux, La. • 6:00 p.m. • Stopher Gym (3,500)
Sam Houston State (13-10, 8-5 Southland) at Nicholls (14-10, 8-4 Southland)
Live Stats • @BearkatsWBB on Twitter

With the Southland Conference Tournament closing in, the Sam Houston Bearkats can take a big step toward Katy on Wednesday when it travels to Thibodaux, La., to take on the Nicholls Colonels.


The game is set to tip off at 6:00 p.m. at Stopher Gym. The game can be followed via live stats, and updates will be available on Twitter by following @BearkatsWBB.


With just five games remaining in the league slate, Ravon Justice’s Bearkats are not only closing in on their first trip to the Merrell Center since 2016, but a potential tournament bye. The top two teams in the league standings each receive a double-bye to the tournament semifinals, while the third and fourth seeds each receive a first-round bye.


The Kats currently stand in fifth place at 8-5, a full game back of third-place Abilene Christian, but just a half game back of the Colonels going into the team’s only meeting of the year against one another on Wednesday.


Both teams enter playing well with SHSU having won six of its last nine games with the only losses in that stretch coming to the top two teams in the league standings: Stephen F. Austin and Lamar.


Meanwhile, Nicholls has won three of its last four as it also is honing in on a ticket to Katy where they would be in defense of last year’s tournament title that sent them to the NCAA Tournament for the first time.


They are led by reigning SLC Player of the Year Cassidy Barrios who leads Nicholls in virtually every statistical category. She is the only Colonel to average in double-figure scoring with her 20.3 points per game leading the league, as are her 11.1 rebounds per game. She also ranks fourth in the SLC in assists (4.5) and blocks (1.3) per game, tenth in field-goal percentage (46.0) and seventh in steals (2.1).


Meanwhile, the Bearkats just picking up its fourth straight win on Saturday at Lamar. SHSU was tied with the Cardinals with less than three minutes to play before LU was able to pull away and extend its home winning streak to 39 games in a row.


Jaylonn Walker had 26 points in the game, just one shy of her career high, while Jenniffer Oramas (17 pts, 7 assists) and Amber Leggett (17 pts, 10 reb) each turned in outstanding efforts in the near victory.