HUNTSVILLE, WALKER COUNTY Returning to Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum for only their second home game since Nov. 22, the Sam Houston State women’s basketball team looks to get back to its winning ways Thursday.
McNeese State invades for a 5:30 p.m. Southland Conference tilt, the first of a pair of home games in the next three days.
Thursday night’s doubleheader (the SHSU men play at 7:45 p.m.) is Domino’s Pizza Night at Johnson Coliseum with special giveaways during the evening.
After opening the season with five wins in their first seven games, the program’s best start in three seasons, the Sam Houston women have hit a dry spell.
The Bearkats rolled up wins over Louisiana-Lafayette, Rice, Missouri-Kansas City, Houston Baptist and A&M Commerce thanks to a strong inside game (33.5 points in the paint per game) and .458 shooting from the field.
In the six losses since, a streak that includes bouts with Texas and TCU of the Big 12, the SHSU women have hit just .316 from the field and .247 beyond the arc. Sam Houston opened league play with a pair of tough road games, falling 78-59 at Northwestern State and 89-59 at Stephen F. Austin.
“It’s going to be good to get home,” SHSU head coach Brenda Nicholls said. “If everyone focuses on taking care of their role and giving a top effort as part of a team, we’ll get things back on track.”
Angela Beadle, 6-3 junior post player, continues to lead the Kats in scoring and rebounding. Beadle leads the Southland in rebounds (10.0 per games) and ranks in the top 10 in the league in scoring (15.1). She scored in double figures in 11 of SHSU’s 12 non-conference games including a career high 30 points in the overtime victory at Rice.
Jasmine Johnson, 5-7 senior guard, also is averaging in double figures with 12.2 points per game and is one of the Southland’s leaders in assists with 57 in 13 contests.
Rounding out the starting lineup are 5-7 freshman point guard Taylor Dorsey (8.0 points per game), 5-11 junior forward Jazmin Wiley (7.5) and 5-10 senior forward Nyha Carter (6.8).
McNeese State brings an 8-5 overall mark into Thursday’s contest. The Cowgirls split in their first two Southland tilts last weekend in Lake Charles, falling to Southeastern Louisiana 82-65 and defeating New Orleans 82-59.
Allison Baggett, a 5-9 sophomore guard, and Cecilia Okoye, a 6-1 senior forward, lead McNeese with scoring averages of 18.8 and 12.0 points, respectively. Okoye was Southland “Newcomer of the Year” in 2013. The pair helped lead McNeese to the championship finals in the Women’s Basketball Invitational (WBI).
The Bearkats and Cowgirls split last year with McNeese State winning 62-58 in Lake Charles and Sam Houston bouncing back for a 60-53 victory in Huntsville.
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