CONWAY, Ark. – Sam Houston State played its best basketball of the season on Saturday. It will need to continue that trend on Wednesday.
The Bearkats visit first-place Central Arkansas at 7 p.m. looking for a second-straight victory after knocking off Houston Baptist behind a season high in points and season low in turnovers on Saturday.
The Bears have won 10 straight games and currently hold a one-game lead on Stephen F. Austin and Abilene Christian in the league standings. Sam Houston, which posted a season-best 78 points most recently against HBU, faces a UCA squad that boasts the nations’ No. 6 ranking for scoring defense.
Sam Houston used a 10-run begin Saturday’s game, building up a 14-point first quarter lead. The Kats shot 66 percent in the opening period and capitalized on open opportunities from being the arc, draining seven 3-pointers on the game.
Angela Delaney registered three 3-pointers and a career-high 19 points in the win. Jenniffer Oramas posted her eighth double-digit scoring performance, finishing with 14 points while teammate Tia Harston totaled 11 points including a team-high six made free throws.
Wednesday marks the first meeting between Sam Houston and Central Arkansas since last year’s Southland Conference Tournament championship game. The Bearkats, which fell by seven points in the title tilt, trailed by one point with 3:01 remaining.
Current senior Jasmine McCants added 12 points against the Bears behind six-of-six shooting from the field while tallying six rebounds. Ashleigh Cooper is the only other current Bearkat to find the basket, adding one field goal.
The Bearkats have lost seven straight against Central Arkansas and are seeking their first victory at the Farris Center. Sam Houston is 3-8 all-time against the Bears with the last victory coming on Jan. 17, 2013, at Johnson Coliseum.
Sam Houston has been effective on the glass, leading the Southland Conference in defensive rebounds (27.0 per game), backed by Lydia Baxter who has averaged 6.4 per game – a mark that ranks 13th in the league. The sophomore paces the way for the Kats with two double-doubles on the season.
Meanwhile, Oramas ranks fifth in the league and second among conference freshmen with a .382 three-point field goal percentage. Oramas is joined by fellow freshman Rachel Harrell, who is eighth in the league, shooting .369 from behind the arc.
Wednesday’s game will be the 14th game of the season on the road for the well-traveled Sam Houston squad. The team will trek to San Antonio on Saturday to face Incarnate Word at 1 p.m. before returning home for three straight beginning one week from Thursday against Northwestern State.