CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas -- The Sam Houston State Bearkat women's basketball team had things tied up in the final minutes at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Wednesday night before falling, 57-55, to the Islanders at the Dugan Wellness Center.
Sam Houston (13-6, 8-2 SLC) trailed by as much as 11 late in the fourth quarter before clawing its way back to tie things up in the game's final two minutes; however, the Islanders (14-6, 8-2 SLC) hit key free throws in the final stretch while holding the Kats to just one made field goal to hold on for the win.
The loss drops the Kats out of first place in the Southland standings, but they still remain just a game back of league-leading Stephen F. Austin with the Ladyjacks set to come to Huntsville on Saturday.
Amber Leggett (13 points) and Faith Cook (11 points) both reached double figures, but the Kats were plagued by 25 turnovers and 4-for-21 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc in what turned out to be their lowest scoring output since scoring just 52 points in at LSU in the 2018-19 season opener.
Both teams were 14-for-19 at the foul line, but the Islanders held a slight edge in the paint and took advantage of winning the turnover battle in a game that saw nine lead changes.
AMCC's Emma Young led all scorers with 17 points, while Alexes Bryant added 13 and seven boards. Dalesia Booth finished with 10 points and five rebounds in 35 minutes of work.
The teams were tied up at 28-28 at the half and that lead got up to as much as 11 before the Kats got the final five points of the third period to make it a 45-39 game heading to the final 10 minutes.
Leggett pumped in seven points in the fourth quarter before Jenniffer Oramas tied it back up at 49-49 with a 3-pointer at the 4:39 mark. The teams each managed just one bucket apiece over the next two minutes before Alecia Westbrook broke the tie in the Islanders' favor with a free throw at 1:37 to put them up 52-51.
Unfortunately, Sam Houston then went cold from the field, misfiring on each of its next four shots while the Islanders stretched the lead out to 55-51 with just nine seconds to play. A 3-pointer by Cook cut it back to 55-54 before a pair of foul shots from Bryant gave the score its final margin.
The Kats will now try to rebound when they host the league-leading Ladyjacks who took sole possession of first place on Wednesday with a win over Abilene Christian. Tipoff is set for 3:00 p.m. at Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum and it can be watched on ESPN3.