NACOGDOCHES – The Sam Houston State Bearkats gave the league-leading Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks all they could handle for nearly three quarters, but SFA pulled away late to hand the Kats a 75-53 defeat on Saturday afternoon at William R. Johnson Coliseum.
Lydia Baxter put in 16 points, 11 in the first half, and Kiera McKinney had a dozen for the Bearkats (4-14, 1-8 SLC); however, the Ladyjacks (15-3, 8-0 SLC) used a long-range barrage in the opening half before moving their attack inside in the second half to open up what was a five-point game at the half.
In all, SFA would nail 10 3-point baskets in the game and win the battle in the paint 33-24 while forcing 20 Bearkat turnovers.
Stevi Parker would lead SFA with 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Taylor Jackson would add 17 as well as two of four SFA players in double figures.
UP NEXT Sam Houston will return to Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum on Wednesday when it takes on McNeese. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. against the Cowgirls and will be aired on ESPN3.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN THE FIRST HALF
Eleven points from Baxter and seven for Oramas had the Kats in it at the midway point, helping Sam Houston hit half of its 24 shots from the floor. But 10 turnovers and seven SFA 3-point baskets aided the Ladyjack cause.
The Ladyjacks used the long-range shot to take a 17-16 lead after a quarter, connecting on a quartet of triples, two coming from Jackson. Sam Houston would hit half of its 14 shots in the quarter, getting five each from Oramas and Baxter.
SFA would lead by as much as six in the period on a Kennedy Harris 3-point shot at the 2:31 mark to cap an 11-4 run, but the Bearkats would close strong. Baxter would score five straight points and assist on another bucket as part of a 7-2 Bearkat spurt to end the period.
Kevyn Ferriera would tie it up at 18-18 early in the second quarter, but the Ladyjacks would answer with back-to-back threes from Lovisa Brunnberg and Marissa Banfield before a layup from Chanell Hayes forced a Sam Houston timeout after an 8-0 run that needed just 36 seconds to up the lead back to 26-18.
That lead would grow to 10 a possession later, but Sam Houston would answer. A putback layup by Akarian Morgan started a 9-2 Sam Houston run that five more points from Baxter and a midrange jumper from Kiera McKinney that had the SFA lead down to just 33-30 before the Ladyjacks would add a bucket to go in up five at the half.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN THE SECOND HALF
The Kats were hurt by the turnover bug in the third quarter, giving it away six times as the Ladyjacks held an 11-point lead going into the final quarter of play. A rebound putback by Ashleigh Cooper late in the quarter still had Sam Houston within six at 47-41, but the Ladyjacks would score seven of the final nine points of the period, including a jumper by Stevi Parker at the buzzer.
SFA would not let off the gas in the fourth quarter, starting off with a 9-0 run that swelled the lead to 63-43 less than four minutes in. The Kats would not get a score until the 5:29 mark on a short jumper from McKinney, but it would get no closer as the Ladyjacks’ 21 points in the quarter would be their most of the game.