HUNTSVILLE- Houston Baptist took an early lead and held on throughout against Sam Houston State, capturing its first conference victory, 69-61, Saturday afternoon at Johnson Coliseum.
The Kats (3-11, 0-5 SLC) shot just 30.7 percent from the field in the opening and closing periods and were outscored 42-27 in those periods while outscoring the Huskies (5-10, 1-4 SLC) 34-27 in the second and third periods.
Kevyn Ferriera led the Bearkat scoring attack with 15 points with seven of them coming in the final period. Ashleigh Cooper was also a factor, scoring 10 points and grabbing six boards.
Amanda Johnson led the Huskies with 19 points, going 7-for-7 from the charity stripe. Sophie Taylor was also big for the Huskies in scoring 14 points along with grabbing six boards and dishing out six assists.
The Kats will begin a tough four-game road trip in Natchitoches, La., against Northwestern State on Wednesday. Both teams will enter the game looking for their first Southland win.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN THE FIRST HALF
Sam Houston held its only lead of the game early in the first quarter when Cooper sank a jumper to bring the score 9-8 in favor of the Bearkats with 6:25 remaining in the opening period, but the Huskies caught fire to close the quarter out on a 14-6 run to go up 22-15 after one quarter of play. The Bearkats struggled from the field in the opening period going 3-9 in the first 10 minutes, but converted at the free throw line going 9-12 in the quarter.
The Bearkats turned it around in the second quarter thanks to shooting over 46 percent from the field. The Bearkats also showed off their defensive prowess as they allowed no Husky field goals over three minutes of the quarter. Kiera McKinney brought the Kats to within four with just under six minutes left in the half, however the Huskies brought the lead back to eight with just over three minutes remaining. But the Kats rallied back and Rachel Harrell capped off the Kats quarter with a triple to bring them to within three to close out the period at 35-32.
The Kats forced more Husky turnovers in the half, forcing 13 compared to committing 10 of their own, but the Huskies converted the 10 SHSU turnovers to 15 points while the Kats only managed seven points off the 13 Husky turnovers. Houston Baptist also won the battle inside outscoring the Kats in the paint 14-6.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN THE SECOND HALF
The third quarter was a quarter of runs as both teams had double digits runs. Harrell opened up the quarter for the Kats with a beautiful dime to McKinney, but the Huskies rattled off 11 straight points to push the lead to 46-38 with a little under seven minutes reaming in the period. But the Kats would not go down easily as they fired back with a 13-1 run of their own to tie the game at 47 thanks to a Harrell trifecta with 3:48 left in the third.
The Huskies opened up the quarter on a 6-0 run which proved to be the knockout punch for the Kats as they couldn’t claw their way back in the final period. The Kats shots wouldn’t fall in the quarter as they were outshot by HBU 53.3 percent to 29.4 percent. Ferriera scored seven of the 12 Kat points in the final 10 minutes to keep the Kats within striking distance before a late 3-point bucket from Taylor iced it for HBU.
HBU’s bench outscored the Kats 24-20, The Huskies also showed a strong paint presence outscoring the Kats in the paint 36-14. The Huskies doubled the Bearkats when it came to scoring off of turnovers as they won the battle 28-14.