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February 16, 2014

SHSU WOMEN'S BASKETBALL — Bearkats fall to Stephen F. Austin in another close one

Second-half struggles prove to be costly in Bearkat loss

HUNTSVILLE — It was a game that Sam Houston State needed to win pretty badly.

Going into Saturday’s tilt against Stephen F. Austin, the Bearkats were tied for sixth place and the final Southland Conference tournament spot.

Sam Houston had a near perfect first half. However, poor shooting and turnovers in the second half led to a 58-52 setback for the Kats.

The Lumberjacks (8-5 in conference play, 14-11 overall) made adjustments with their defense when it was needed.

Bearkats post Angela Beadle, who had 14 points and 8 rebounds, was held scoreless in the second half.

“Beadle had a terrific first half,” Lumberjacks coach Brandon Schneider said. “To hold her scoreless in the second half just attributed to what kind of team defense were able to play.”

Sam Houston (6-7, 11-13) shot only 25 percent from the field with four Bearkat players scoring in the second half.

“It’s just putting the ball in the net, just making good things happen,” Bearkat coach Brenda Nichols said.

Amanda Barnes, who had 15 points, opened the second half with a 3-pointer to increase the lead to 34-31.

The Bearkats, though, would go scoreless for nearly 11 minutes in the second half.

During that span, the Lumberjacks went on a 9-0 run to make it 40-34 courtesy of buckets by Taylor Ross, who finished with a team-high 16 points, and Porsha Roberts, who poured in 14 points.

Bearkat guard Jasmine Johnson’s jumper snapped the drought and her teammate, Summer Fife, followed with a 3-pointer to bring the Kats to within 42-39.

Roberts got called for an offensive foul that put Beadle on the free-throw line for a chance to pull within a point.

Beadle, who came into the game shooting 77 percent from the line, missed the first and crucial free throw on the bonus and the Lumberjacks got the rebound.

On the next play, Roberts made a jumper to extend the lead to 44-39.

Barnes’ two free throws put the Bearkats within one possession game at 44-41.

That was as close as the Kats would get as the Lumberjacks went on a 6-0 run to increase the lead to 50-41 with Tierany Henderson’s trey capping the run and sealing  the fate of the Bearkats.

Beadle set the tone for the Bearkats as she scored the first four points for the Bearkats.

Sam Houston’s zone defense kept the Lumberjacks scoreless for nearly the first three minutes in the half before Daylin Harris hit a jumper to make it 4-2.

After Stephen F. Austin came closer at 4-3 courtesy of a free throw, Sam Houston went on a 6-0 run to expand their lead to 10-3 thanks to consecutive treys by Johnson and Barnes.

Twice, the Lumberjacks pulled to within one at 12-11 on a 8-2 run.

However, Johnson’s jumper started a 6-2 run to extend Sam Houston’s lead to 18-13.

Stephen F. Austin pulled within one again at 18-17 courtesy of layups by Roberts and Kari Jerrell.

Johnson’s jumper extended the lead to 20-17, but the Bearkats weren’t able to hold off the Lumberjacks, who answered with 4-0 run to take their first lead at 21-20.

From that moment, both teams battled it out and there was one tie and two lead changes.

With time winding down and the score tied at 29, the Lumberjacks had an opportunity to take the lead.

However, Ross was called for a double-dribble that gave the Bearkats a chance for the last shot with 10 seconds left.

That’s exactly what they did as Johnson found an open Beadle and she put it off the glass with no time left for a 31-29 lead at halftime.

With five games left in the season, Sam Houston will have to play their best basketball down the stretch if they want to make the tournament.

“We’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing,” Nichols said. “We’re going to come into practice and try to change some things. It’s all going to come together.”

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