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February 14, 2014

SHSU WOMEN'S BASKETBALL — Bearkats dig deep, find way to victory

Second half run pushes Sam Houston women over Northwestern State

HUNTSVILLE — It seemed as if it was deja vu as Sam Houston State found itself trailing Northwestern State in the second half at 37-28 with about 13 minutes left.

But the Bearkats dug deep and put together a 19-5 run to make it 49-42 with 6:10 remaining.

Though the Demons tried to come back and made it close, the Bearkats were able to hang on for the 57-53 win.

Sam Houston (6-6 Southland Conference play, 11-12 overall) shot 47 percent from the field in the second half.

“Just being able to come out and shoot 47 percent in the second half, that's the difference in the ball game,” Bearkat coach Brenda Nichols said. “I thought our defense was really good. The players stepped up and they got into it. Very proud of the team effort.”

Jazmin Wiley, who had 17 points and seven rebounds, was one of the players who stepped up when it was needed.

Wiley scored 9 points during a 9-1 run that brought the Bearkats within a 38-37 with 9:41 left.

“We just came out with fight,” Wiley said. “We came out with intensity and that's what happened.”

After Trudy Armstead, who had 13 points and five rebounds, hit a shot that extend the Demons' (6-6 SLC play, 13-11 overall) lead to 40-37, Nyah Carter made a jumper that pulled them within again at 40-39.

Carter showed her defensive prowess on the next play when she knocked the pass away and Wiley got the ball for a crucial turnover.

“Nyah (Carter) and (Jazmin) Wiley did a tremendous job today,” Nichols said.

On the inbound play, Jasmine Johnson, who had 9 points and 8 rebounds, received the pass and made the jumper that gave the Bearkats a 41-40 lead.

Though Janelle Perez hit a jumper to give back the Demons a 42-41 lead, Sam Houston regain the lead at 43-42 thanks to a jumper by post-player Angela Beadle.

That was just the beginning as Amanda Barnes made two consecutive treys to increase the lead to 49-42.

Prior to that, the Bearkats went 0-12 from the arc.

Northwestern State was not going away quietly as they went on a 5-0 run to pull within 49-47.

Sam Houston didn't panicked when Johnson missed the shot, but Wiley grabbed the rebound and put it back in the net to make it 51-47.

That was key as Perez, who finished with 11 points, made a trey that pulled the Demons within 51-50 with 3:48 left.

Sam Houston scored four consecutive points to increase the lead at 55-50.

The Demons made three free throws that brought them close at 55-53 with 56.7 seconds left in the game.

Needing a bucket, the Bearkats turned the ball over and gave Northwestern State a chance to either tie or win the game with 38 seconds left.

Sam Houston’s aggressive defense made up for it as the Demons missed and Johnson came up with the rebound and was fouled in the process with 21.7 remaining.

Johnson sunked both her free throws that increased the Bearkat lead to 57-53 with 21.7 remaining.

Northwestern State had another opportunity to pull within a possession, but they couldn't capitalized as they missed another shot and Beadle, who had 19 points and 11 rebounds, grabbed the rebound and was fouled, putting her on the line for a one-on-one situation.

Beadle missed the free throw, but Carter, went around her defender, got the rebound and passed it to Johnson, where she ran out the clock to seal the win.

“Most importantly on something like that, you can't foul,” Carter said. “Got to be smart on situations like that.”

The win put Sam Houston into a three-way tie for the final spot for the Southland Conference tournament with the Demons and Oral Roberts, who lost to Houston Baptist 84-75.

The Bearkats aim to carry the momentum into Saturday's matchup with Stephen F. Austin that will be televised on ESPN3 at 1:30 p.m.

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