LONG BEACH, CA -- Alex Sanchez scored 14 points including a free throw with one second remaining for the winning point as Long Beach held off a second half comeback by the Bearkats to defeat the Sam Houston women’s basketball team 50-49 in the finals of the Beach Classic tournament Friday night.
Sam Houston drops to 3-7 for the year. Long Beach stands 6-5.
Long Beach led 37-21 at halftime and was up 42-27 with 15:17 to play. But the Bearkats went on a 22-7 run to tie the score 49-49 on a lay-up by Sequeena Thomas with nine seconds to play.
Thomas posted her seventh consecutive game with double figure points and rebounds, scoring 15 and pulling down 16 rebounds. Britni Martin led Sam Houston with 18 points.
Just before the buzzer that would have brought Sam Houston into overtime for the second night in a row, Chanice Smith was called for a foul. Sanchez hit the first free throw for the game winner. She missed the second and Martin got the rebound but time ran out on the Kats.
Twice late in the game, Sam Houston cut the margin to one point. Martin hit a pair of free throws to make the score 44-43 with 3:28 to play. Angela Beadle’s jumper made the score 48-47 with 1:43 left.
A cold night outside the three point line hampered the Bearkats as Sam Houston hit only two of 22 trey attempts. Both three-pointers came from Martin who went 2-of-13 from outside the line.
The Bearkats were strong on the boards, out-rebounding Long Beach 44-38.
Sam Houston continues its holiday road swing, facing UTEP in El Paso Friday, Dec. 28.