The LadyKats hosted archrival Stephen F. Austin Saturday, but the Ladyjacks proved to be too much for the struggling team, extending the SHSU losing streak to six games.
The game ended with a considerable lead, 73-55, but the LadyKats did show some life for part of the game.
The Ladyjacks closed out the first half ahead 33-21.
Coming back from the half, the LadyKats were determined not to go down without a point, and went on a 12-point run to start the second half. The Ladyjacks were unable to score for the first six and a half minutes.
“We were in our zone and we were only letting them get one shot,” SHSU coach Erika Ritter said. “Then we were coming down and scoring. We were in control of our offense and we were in control of our defense.”
Lee Shea, who started on Saturday for just the second time this season, scored half of those 12.
“She’s a great shooter when she gets her touch,” Ritter said. “I think her shot will only get better the more times she’s on the board.”
The run would stop at 12 when SFA’s Kirby Killingsworth hit a three-pointer.
From that point, the LadyKats never again proved to be a threat to the Ladyjacks until it was too late.
SHSU tried to fight back in the end, but the effort proved to be too little, too late. When the final buzzer sounded, the LadyKats found themselves 18 points behind the third place Ladyjacks.
What proved to be a large problem for SHSU was the sharp drop in their shooting percentage. They were able to take some solid shots, but nothing seemed to go in. They finished the night hitting 14-of-52 (27 percent) from the field.
“The shooting was very poor,” Ritter said. “With 27 percent, you can’t beat anyone in our league.”
The LadyKats had a better outing Thursday when the team hosted the University of Texas-Arlington.
Despite coming out with a 69-58 loss in the game, the LadyKats saw a vast amount of improvement from their 77-46 loss to UTA last January.
They even found themselves ahead during some parts of the game. Their largest lead was a seven-point advantage 12 minutes into the first half.
“We saw some sparks there,” Ritter said. “We cut the lead because we played as a team. Everybody gave it their all, and everybody was out to get the LadyKats a win. Basically, we just made some mental mistakes against their press and missed layups.”
Even when the Lady Mavs took the lead, SHSU wouldn’t let them get too far ahead.
“At the beginning of the game we were doing a good job of boxing out and getting the rebounds,” Ritter said. “But (UTA) still ended up with 23 offensive boards. A lot of times we were boxing out and the taller girl we were boxing out just reached over us.”
One thing that SHSU can take away from Thursday’s game was their ability to contain the production of UTA’s LaToya Lewis. In January, Lewis was able to nail 17 points in the blowout, but Thursday she was limited to just eight.
“I think we knew more about her this game,” Ritter said. “We were more focused on her and we knew she could shoot threes, so we really played her for that.”
Katrina Barclay put forth an amazing effort for the LadyKats, coming off the bench to score 17 points. She went 6-for-10 from the field and 5-for-6 from the free-throw line.
Alice Johnson was also able to produce big numbers for her team, scoring 28 points and grabbing seven rebounds. She also went on a nine-point scoring run in the first half by herself.
“We played as a team,” Ritter said of Thursday’s game. “We were focused and mentally ready to play.”
The LadyKats will hope to snap their losing streak when they visit Louisiana-Monroe this Thursday.