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February 9, 2014

SHSU WOMEN'S BASKETBALL - Bearkats stumble late, lose to Lamar

HUNTSVILLE — It seemed as if Sam Houston was going to make a statement against Lamar.

The Bearkats had a strong showing in the first half.

However, they couldn't maintain their momentum as a second half explosion propelled Lamar to a 70-45 victory over the Bearkats.

Sam Houston shot 26 percent from the field and made only 1 of 10 from behind the arc in the second half.

“We had a great first half,” Bearkat coach Brenda Nichols said. “The second half, we just didn't get it going. We’ve got to shoot better than 26 percent.”

Sam Houston (5-6 Southland Conference play, 10-12 overall) was within two points with about 12 minutes left in the game.

However, Lamar (8-3 SLC play, 13-9 overall) exploded on a 14-0 run to extend their lead at 51-35.

During that run, Sam Houston missed five shots and turned the ball over six times.

“We had a slow start, but in the second half, we changed our press,” Cardinals coach Robin Harmony said. “We had 14 points on just steals. It got us over the hump.”

Lamar didn't let up as they kept up their full court press and created more turnovers on the Bearkats.

“I think we did a pretty good job of adjusting in the second half,” said Gia Ayers, who finished with 16 points.

It seemed as if Sam Houston had everything going as they started the first half strong with their defense.

Despite shutting down Lamar's leading scorer Dominque Edwards, who led all scorers with 20 points, the Cardinals found a way to put points on the board in the early minutes of the first half.

Kiandra Bowers, who averages six points per game and had career highs of 17 points and 10 rebounds, scored the first eight points for Lamar to give the Cardinals an 8-5 lead.

However, Kristina Smith hit a trey to tie the game at 8.

“The kids that are coming off the bench are doing a good job of giving us some spark,” Nichols said.

A few plays later, Amanda Barnes made a 3-pointer to give the Bearkats an 11-8 lead.

But Ayers tied the game at 11 with a 3 of her own.

Sam Houston responded when post Angela Beadle made two free throws to jump-start a 5-2 run to make it 16-13.

But Bethany Cox hit from long range to tie it again at 16.

The Bearkats answered with a 5-0 run to increase their lead to 21-16 off a jumper by Jasmine Wiley and a three-point play by Nyah Carter, who rebounded a missed shot and put it back in the net while being fouled in the process.

Lamar did not let up and went on a 9-4 run to tie the game at 25 by halftime.

Sam Houston (5-6 Southland Conference, 10-12 overall) couldn't capitalize on their opportunities in the second half as they missed the first three shots in the early minutes.

That allowed the Cardinals to go on a 7-0 run to make it 32-25.

Though the Bearkats pulled within two on a 10-5 run courtesy of buckets by Jasmine Johnson, who had six points, Carter, who finished with 8 points and Beadle, they couldn't get any closer from that point on.

Smith totaled six points while Morghen Day chipped in six as well.

Sam Houston players and coaches feel that they will rebound from this loss and believe they are still in the hunt to make the Southland Conference tournament.

“We're going to come back from this,” Nichols said. “We just got to keep pulling together as a team. We're still in this race.”

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