It was a nail-biter at Johnson Coliseum Saturday as Sam Houston State’s women’s basketball team stole a win from Nicholls State with .5 seconds remaining on the clock.
Senior guard Jasmine Johnson drained the game-winning three before the final buzzer sounded, giving the Bearkats a thrilling 51-50 victory over the Colonels.
“I believed I could make the shot,” Johnson said. “I knew had to nail it.”
The victory not only broke a seven-game losing streak but also gave SHSU its first conference win.
“The monkey is off our back now,” head coach Brenda Nichols said. “I think our girls will relax now.”
SHSU started the game in a fiery fashion, owning the first 10 minutes. They quickly jumped out to a 17-3 lead while NSU struggled from the field, shooting 1-of-14.
The Colonels were stifled with five fouls within the first 12 minutes of the game, allowing the Bearkats to go 5-of-7 from the charity stripe.
Nicholls State was able to recover in the second half, going on a strong run to overtake the Bearkats’ lead before being burnt at the death.
SHSU played against conference rival McNeese State in Lake Charles, La., where the contest eluded the Bearkats by four points despite three Bearkats scoring in double figures for the night.
Junior post Angela Beadle headed the charge for the Bearkats, scoring 14 points and pulling down seven rebounds in the 55-59 loss.
Freshman and sophomore guards Kristina Smith and Amanda Barnes each drained 13 points for SHSU, respectively.
SHSU was scoreless in the first three and a half minutes, allowing McNeese State to gain a nine-point lead in the first half. However, once the offense started clicking, the Bearkats managed to close the gap with an 8-2 run, trailing the Cowgirls 21-22.
In the second half, the Cowgirls extended their lead to 11 points, but the 3-point arch became the hotspot for SHSU.
Smith drained a crucial 3-pointer, cutting the Cowgirls’ lead to 41-37. McNeese State managed to beef their advantage back up to nine points, but the Bearkat offense had two quick daggers for them.
Smith and Barnes both connected on shots beyond the arc to slice the nine-point lead to three points.
In the closing seconds of the contest, only down by 4 points, SHSU could not rally enough offense to take the victory.
“Our biggest problem right now is our offensive game,” Nichols said. “We’re getting the shots; we’re just not getting them to fall.”
The Bearkats will be on a road tour for the next four games. Their first tangle will be against Southeastern Louisiana Lions Thursday in Hammond, La., at 5 p.m.