NATCHITOCHES, La. – The Northwestern State Lady Demons scored nine of the game’s final 13 points to hand the Sam Houston State Bearkats a 63-60 loss on Wednesday at Prather Coliseum.
Akarian Morgan turned in a season-high 17 points for the Bearkats (3-12, 0-6 SLC), but Northwestern State’s (6-11, 1-5 SLC) Jasmyn Johnson answered with 21 of her own for the Lady Demons, who picked up their first win in Southland Conference play.
Sam Houston had to work around 25 turnovers for the game and attempted just nine foul shots, but still found itself holding a 58-56 lead with less than three minutes to play before the Lady Demons answered with seven straight points, five coming from Nautica Grant, including a short jumper with 1:07 to go that gave Northwestern State the lead for good.
Lydia Baxter and Kiera McKinney each added eight points for the Bearkats with Baxter adding eight boards and a team-best four assists to her total. Grant finished with 14 points for the Lady Demons who hit 8-for-11 from the floor in the game’s final quarter.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN THE FIRST HALF
The Bearkats held a seven-point lead after the end of the first quarter that saw Morgan drop in five of her 10 first-half points. All 12 of the Lady Demons’ points came from a quartet of 3-point baskets, but only one in the final six minutes of the quarter.
Ashleigh Cooper had things tied up at 9-9 and Angela Delaney gave the Kats an 11-9 lead just two possessions later, but it was Kevyn Ferriera who gave the Kats a 13-12 lead and sparked an 8-0 run in the closing minutes to put the Kats ahead up 19-12 after 10 minutes of play.
But it took nearly six minutes into the second quarter for the Kats to add to their tally as Northwestern State went on a 10-0 run to open the period and stake itself to a 22-19 advantage. Morgan tied it up with a 3-pointer and then put the Kats up 24-22 with a pull-up jumper, but Jasmyn Johnson scored all of the final eight Lady Demon points of the half, including a 3-pointer just before the final buzzer to give Northwestern State a 33-31 lead at the break.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN THE SECOND HALF
The Kats hit nearly half of their shots in the third quarter, but held the Lady Demons to just 2-for-11 from the field to take a 46-42 lead. But the fourth quarter was not as kind as Northwestern State made up for it behind five points each from three separate players.
Sam Houston held a 52-49 lead on a jumper from McKinney with 6:44 left and still held a 56-54 advantage after a jumper from Ashleigh Cooper at the 3:39 mark. After NWST’s Victoria Miller tied it up at 56-56, Morgan put the Kats up by a pair with two foul shots with less than three minutes to go.
But two possessions later Grant evened it up at 55-58 and a minute later she put the Lady Demons up as she rolled in a short jumper at the 1:07 mark. Sam Houston could not convert on their next two trips down the floor and the lead grew to four on a pair of Northwestern State foul shots with just 11 seconds to play.
Morgan would covert two foul shots to make it a 63-60 Lady Demon lead with less than five seconds to go and the Kats stole the ensuing inbounds pass, but a last-second try from Rachel Harrell was just wide as the buzzer sounded.