SLC WBB: SHSU wins OT thriller; SFA, UCA cruise

Story courtesy: SHSU, SFA, UCA Athletics

Sam Houston 83, Lamar 80

The Sam Houston Bearkats had to go to overtime but survived a scare from Lamar to grit out an 83-80 win over the Cardinals on Wednesday night at the Montagne Center.

The Kats (6-4, 2-2 SLC) picked up their second straight win but had to work to get it after leading the Cardinals (2-8, 1-1 SLC) for the majority of the second half. SHSU led 71-67 with just seven seconds in regulation, but LU was able to scramble and force overtime with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from freshman Sabria Dean.

Amber Leggett led all scorers with 29 points on 9-for-15 shooting from the field and 9-for-11 at the foul line. She added 11 rebounds and three assists before fouling out early in overtime.

She now needs just one more point to her credit to become the 18th Bearkat in program history to reach 1,000 points in a career.

Courtney Cleveland turned in a big night of her own with 20 points and six boards and responded from a rough game at the foul line on Saturday at UCA to convert 10 of her 11 tries on a night that saw the Kats hit 29 of their 42 tries as a team.

Madelyn Batista joined Cleveland and Leggett in double figures with 11 points and 10 boards, while Faith Cook added 10 points and a game-high seven assists.

The Kats were scheduled to next take on Houston Baptist on Saturday before the game was postponed to February 3 due to COVID protocols within the Husky program. Instead, Sam Houston will now have a week off before hosting Abilene Christian on Wednesday, January 20.

The game will be aired on ESPN+ and is set to tip off at 5:30 p.m. as part of a midweek doubleheader with the Bearkat men’s team.

SFA 85, Central Arkansas 44

The Ladyjacks (11-2, 3-0 SLC) began its Southland Conference road stretch at Central Arkansas (2-9, 0-3 SLC) Wednesday night and ran away victorious, 85-44.

SFA opened up conference road play with equal distribution on the offensive end with four players in double figures. Stephanie Visscher finished the game with 18 points (6-10 FG, 4-7 3PT.), seven rebounds and two blocks on the night, followed by Pilgrim’s Player of the Game Aiyana Johnson (16 points, nine rebounds, three assists, four blocks), Zya Nugent (13 points, three rebounds, four assists) and Marissa Banfield chipping in 10 points. The Ladyjack bench contributed 26 points on the night to complement its starters, as every player on the roster recorded either a basket, an assist or a rebound on the stat sheet.

The Ladyjacks converted on 26-51 field goals (51.0 percent), including 18 assisted baskets. Ten Ladyjacks contributed at least one assist on the outing.

As the Ladyjacks shot 51.0 percent from the field, it limited the Sugar Bears to 16-56 shooting (28.6 percent), along with the Sugar Bears going 9-22 from the free throw line. SFA was able to defend beyond the arc as well, as the Sugar Bears only converted on three 3-point field goals. The Ladyjacks were able to score 22 points off of Sugar Bears’ turnovers as well.

SFA comes in at No. 12 in the Women’s Mid Major Poll, moving up two spots from last week, not to mention moving up two spots in the NCAA Women’s Basketball NET Rankings, going from No. 36 to No. 34.

The Ladyjacks will continue its road stretch at Incarnate Word on Saturday, January 16th at 3:00 p.m.

Nicholls State 68, Northwestern State 38

Sophomore Chelsea Cain scored 17 of her game-high 22 points in the second half, while Anna McKendree and Adrian Mann combined for 28 points as the Nicholls State University women’s basketball team defeated rival Northwestern State, 68-38, Wednesday evening in Stopher Gymnasium.

The 38 points allowed tied for the fifth-fewest in program history for Nicholls (4-7, 3-1 SLC) and it was the lowest offensive output for an opponent since a 67-34 win over UIW in 2015. 

Although Cain did not record a third double-double in league play, Adrian Mann notched the first of her career with 13 points, 11 rebounds and added three steals. The Colonels had 16 steals off of 31 Northwestern State (0-8, 0-3 SLC) turnovers, led by six steals by Terris McKay. The sophomore totaled four points and three assists in the win.

Nicholls hits the road in search of its first win away from Stopher Gym, taking on Central Arkansas on Saturday, Jan. 16. Tipoff in Conway is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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