Sam Houston State senior Devin Wombles (15) flashes into the paint during Saturday’s regular-season finale against Texas State. Wombles and guard Khamra Echols were playing their final game at Johnson Coliseum. The Bearkats sent the two seniors out in style, beating the rival Bobcats 68-54.

The Bearkat women’s basketball team finished the regular season in convincing fashion, defeating rival Texas State 68-54 at Johnson Coliseum on Saturday.

With the win, the Bearkats secured the No. 3 seed and the West Division title in the Southland Conference.

“Our girls came out with intensity,” Bearkats coach Brenda Nichols said. “We shot the ball great and went to the free-throw line and did what we were supposed to do.”

The Bearkats opened the game on a 7-3 run. They continued their dominance as they went on an 10-2 spurt to increase the lead to 17-5 and closed the first half leading 42-28.

The Bearkats defense was stellar as they held the Bobcats to a shooting percentage of 35.7 in the first half.

“What sticks out in my mind was the first half,” Bobcats head coach Zenarae Antoine said. “We didn’t do the best job that we could defensively, and ultimately that is where we lost the game.”

The Bobcats started the second half on a 11-7 run to cut the Bearkat lead to 10 at 49-39. But the deficit was too much for the Bobcats to overcome as the Bearkats kept a double-digit cushion for the rest of the game.

Junior forward Sequeena Thomas led the Kats with 22 points, 17 rebounds and two blocks.

“When doesn’t she (Thomas) have a double-double?” Thomas’ front-court buddy Britni Martin said. “It is expected of her now. I like to find her on the court and get her the ball.”

Martin tossed in 20 points, four assists and two rebounds. She hit 4-of-10 shots from the behind the 3-point line.

“A lot of pride was put into this game,” said SHSU guard Khamra Echols, one of two seniors who played her last game at Johnson Coliseum on Saturday. “We pretty much knew that we had to come out and compete and that is what we did.”

Demi Clinch led the Bobcats with 16 points and nine rebounds, while Kaylan Martin contributed with 11 points and six boards.

 The Bobcats closed out the regular season with a conference record of 8-8 (16-14 overall) and are the  No. 6 seed in the tournament.  

The Bearkats face the Bobcats again in the first round in the Southland Conference Tournament in Katy on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. The series between the two teams is tied 1-1 this season.

Southland Conference

Women’s Basketball Tournament

Merrell Center, Katy

Tuesday’s first-round schedule

    No. 7 Southeastern Louisiana vs. No. 2 McNeese State, noon

    No. 6 Texas State vs. No. 3 Sam Houston State, 2:30 p.m.

    No. 8 Nicholls vs. No. 1 Central Arkansas, 6 p.m.

    No. 5 Lamar vs. No. 4 Stephen F. Austin, 8:30 p.m.

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