Katy, Texas – Sophomore post player Angela Beadle scored 19 points and pulled down nine rebounds to lead the Sam Houston women’s basketball team into its first Southland Conference post-season tournament finals appearance in 26 seasons the in league Friday.
The No. 2 seeded Bearkats defeated No. 3 seed Lamar 67-61. Sam Houston State and Oral Roberts, the two teams that tied for the regular season championship, will meet in Saturday’s final at 1:30 p.m. ORU defeated McNeese State 76-66 in the other semifinal.
“I’m a person that almost is never at a loss for words, but I’m speechless today,” Sam Houston head coach Brenda Nichols said. “I love this group. They have accomplished so much and now they’re on the verge of even more. These players have taken us from the bottom of the league to the top.”
Senior forward Sequeena Thomas added 14 points and led both teams with 17 rebounds for the 52nd double figure points and rebounds performance of her career. Jasmine Johnson scored 12 points and Chanice Smith added 10. Beadle’s 19 points tied her career record.
“Angela spends every day trying to get better. She puts in the hard work not only in practice but on her own,” Nichols said. “It’s paying off.”
Sam Houston out-rebounded the Cardinals 41-35 with Beadle and Thomas combining for 26 boards.
“Rebounding is about who wants it more,” Beadle said. “Coach preaches boxing out and rebounding every day.”
Sam Houston never trailed, jumping out to an 11-3 start in the first six minutes. Beadle’s first three baskets power SHSU to a 20-12 margin with eight left in the half.
Lamar rallied to cut the margin to one twice, 20-19 at the 6:54 mark and 22-21 with 6:10 to play before intermission. A layup by Sequeena Thomas started an 9-2 run that put the Bearkats up 31-24 two minutes later.
The Kats went into the locker room at halftime with a 35-29 lead.
Beadle and Thomas kept things rolling in the second half, opening with an 11-4 run to go up 46-35 on a Beadle layup seven minutes into the period. Chanice Smith and Jazmin Wiley gave the Kats, respectively, 53-42 with 8:46 to play and 56-45 with 7:10 left.
Lamar cut the margin to five, 56-51, with 4:50 to play but could come no closer.
“We don’t want to stop playing,” Thomas said. “This is my last year and what a great team. We’re looking forward to the challenge Saturday.”