Women’s basketball falls to Oral Roberts 72-66 in final

After winning their first ever Southland Conference championship, the Sam Houston State womens basketball team flew through the Southland Conference Tournament before falling to Oral Roberts 72-66 in the championship game.

This is the first time the women have won the conference in the 26 years theyve been in the Southland Conference.

Sam Houston and Oral Roberts both won a share of the SLC championship so it only made sense for the two teams to meet in the championship game.

Because of their finish as co-champions of the Southland Conference, the Bearkats have earned a bid in the 2013 Womens National Invitation Tournament (WNIT). They will play Tulane University in the first round. Tulane has a 22-8 season record.

The WNIT, much like the NCAA Tournament, is a 64-team tournament with single elimination.

The girls and coaching staff are excited to still be playing, Kats head coach Brenda Nichols said. Looking at who some of the bubble teams are for NCAA selection, the WNIT should have an outstanding field this year. Its a thrill to get to test ourselves against the best.

The first round of the tournament begins on Wednesday and will conclude with the championship game on April 6 at 2 p.m. that will be aired live on CBS Sports Network. All of the games are hosted by the participating schools.

Senior Sequeena Thomas was chosen for the all-tournament team after scoring 18 points and 13 rebounds in the final game for her 53rd career double-double.

Sophomore standout Angela Beadle was also selected to the all-tournament team. She scored 19 points and had nine rebounds in the semifinal game against Lamar, which they won 67-61.

Angela spends every day trying to get better. She puts in the hard work not only in practice but on her own, Nichols said. It is paying off.

She also pulled down 11 rebounds and scored four points in the final.

Britni Martin scored 15 points, Chanice Smith scored 13 and Jasmine Johnson dropped 10.

Kevi Luper led the Golden Eagles past the Bearkats, scoring 26 points. Jaci Bigham also helped lead the charge as she scored 17.

SHSU had better percentages than ORU in field goal shooting, three point shooting and free throws but were unable to contain the Golden Eagles late in the game.

We went out and fought hard, Nichols said. Our girls battled and did everything we asked them to doI think we learned a lot today about how to win in tournament time.

The Bearkats will face off against Tulane Thursday night in New Orleans.

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