HUNTSVILLE – Ayla Guzzardo hit two free throws and Amber Witt added a third in the final 35 seconds to power Akron past Sam Houston State 61-60 in a non-conference women’s basketball game Wednesday afternoon at Johnson Coliseum.
The three charity shots gave Akron a 61-57 lead with three seconds left. Ray Alexander hit a three-point basket at the buzzer to produce the final one point margin.
Kara Murphy led Akron (4-8) with 18 points. Guzzardo added 11. Sam Houston (2-9) was led by Ray Alexander and Bre Agnew, both with 10 points.
The contest was tied five times with eight lead changes. Sam Houston built a 28-18 lead with 7:19 left in the first half. Whitney Smith capped a 14-4 run with a layup. But Akron fought back to cut the Bearkat lead to 34-30 at intermission.
Sam Houston opened the second half with a 7-0 run to go up by nine 41-32 with 17:34. The Kats went cold as Akron began a 17-4 run to go up by four, 49-45 with 6:53 to play. Sam Houston rallied for a brief 52-50 lead with 4:18 remaining on a jumper by Ray Alexander. Jolene Tambque put the Zips up to stay with a layup at 3:02 to make the score 54-53.
Turnovers were the Bearkats’ downfall. Sam Houston made 26 miscues with the Zips scored 25 points off the turnaovers. Akron turned the ball over only 18 times.
Sam Houston State plays host to North Texas Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at Johnson Coliseum