HUNTSVILLE – A thrilling finish between the Sam Houston State Bearkats and the A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders resulted in a 61-59 win for the Kats on Wednesday night at Johnson Coliseum.
On a night that saw Islanders (12-10, 6-5 SLC) leading at the end of each quarter, it was the Bearkats (13-9, 8-4 SLC) rallied to hold off AMCC in the fourth quarter and even the season series with the Islanders.
The victory, coupled with a loss by Nicholls to Abilene Christian, sits the Bearkats in a tie with ACU for third place in the Southland Conference standings with five games left in the regular season.
SHSU was led by Jennifer Oramas with 15 points, while both Lydia Baxter and Dominique Maxwell had 14 points each. Baxter also collected 11 rebounds to get her tenth double-double of the season.
A slow start for the Kats in the first quarter found them down by 11 going into the half, but the Kats defense put on a strong full court press in the second half causing trouble for the Islanders and forcing 17 turnovers.
The Islanders were led by Emma Young’s 23 points and 13 rebounds, while center Alexes Bryant broke a Southland Conference record with 15 blocks that went along with 15 points.
- The Bearkats started slow and were 3-for-22 from the field at the end of the first quarter
- SHSU went on a 10-0 run midway through the second quarter and got the Kats back in a single-digit deficient
- Oramas knocked down two from beyond that arc late in the second quarter to get the momentum shifting for SHSU
- The Kats defense played strong and drew two consecutive offensive fouls for the Islanders and ultimately held them to only 12 points in the second quarter
- SHSU outscored AMCC 21-12 in the second period of play to only trail by two going into the half
- Sam Houston saw its first lead of the night around the halfway point of the third quarter
- The Kats would extend their lead to as much as seven with consecutive 3-pointers from Amber Leggett and Jaylonn Walker
- The Islanders answered a 12-2 run by the Kats with a 12-2 run of their own to regain the lead going into the fourth period of play
- A strong series of plays led by 3-pointers from Oramas and Maxwell coupled with steals from the pair put the SHSU up by a point with 1:43 left to play
- With the game tied 58-58 with 55 seconds left Sam Houston called a timeout and Baxter scored on the next offensive set
- SHSU still held its narrow 61-59 lead with a final possession for the Islanders, but the Bearkat defense forced its 28th and final turnover of the game to seal the victory
The Kats return to action on Saturday, February 16th against Lamar in Beaumont. Tipoff is set for 2pm.