Bearkats basketball ready for “fast-break” season

Sam Houston State women’s basketball team is less than a month away from their season opener against Louisiana State on Nov. 15.

After missing the Southland Conference postseason last season, the Bearkats started practice Oct. 6 looking forward to what head coach Brenda Nichols calls a “fast-break” season.

“We are going to expect big things out of [the team],” Nichols said.

Last year was the first losing season the Bearkats had since the 2009-10 season when they finished 11-18. After tying the SHSU record for most wins in a single season in the 2012-13 and 2012-13 seasons with 18 and winning its first ever Southland Conference regular season women’s basketball championship in 2013, the Lady Bearkats surprised most with their sub-par record following such a stellar season. The Bearkats finished last season with an overall record of 13-16 with an 8-10 record in SLC.

Senior post Angela Beadle, senior forward Jazmin Wiley and junior guard Amanda Barnes return as starters. An All-SLC selection last season, Beadle heads into her final year as a Bearkat. Last season, Beadle averaged 15.8 points per game, 10.3 rebounds per game and shot over 50 percent from the field.  Beadle, who had surgery on her foot in the offseason, will be ready to play in the regular season.

“She’s out here every day, working hard in rehab,” Nichols said. “We are just waiting any day for the doctor’s to say ‘go.’”

A total of nine letter winners return from last season’s squad. Two transfers and two freshmen also join the Lady Bearkats, hoping to strengthen the squad for the upcoming season. In addition to the four newcomers, head coach Brenda Nichols brings three new assistant coaches to join the team: Rosalind Jennings, Stacy Stephens and Jessica Salera.

“[The coaches] were unbelievably the right choice,” Nichols said.

SHSU will open with an exhibition against Mary Hardin-Baylor on Nov. 8 before heading to LSU. Tipoff for the exhibition game is set for 6:30 p.m on November 8th at Johnson Coloseum.

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