Kats need improvements on post for SLC success

Eight regular season games remain for the Sam Houston State women’s basketball team with the Bearkats currently sitting in seventh place in the Southland Conference with a 5-5 SLC record.

The Bearkats have been a new team since the SLC season began. SHSU started its season 1-10 in their 11 non-conference games and have gone 5-5 since in conference play. The Kats’ seventh place rank in the SLC would give the Bearkats the second-to-last seed in the eight-team SLC tournament from March 11-15 in Katy.

Kat junior transfer guard Shernise Robertson has been an offensive showcase since the SLC games began. Robertson leads all SLC players in scoring, averaging 20.4 points per game, nearly three more than any other SLC player. Robertson has been the Kats’ leading scorer in 11 of the last 13 games, including the last seven straight. SHSU sophomore guard Taylor Dorsey is the Bearkats’ second leading scorer with 13 PPG.

The biggest problem for the Kats this season has been injuries. Injuries have depleted the Kats to rely heavily on the guard positions. With senior post Angela Beadle having sat out every game this season, junior transfer post Shadijah Moore has taken over as the starting post. Beadle, an All-Southland Conference player in 2013-14, scored double figures in all but three games last season and has been dearly missed both defensively and offensively in the paint. This season Moore has averaged 5.1 PPG and 5.9 rebounds per game, a drastic drop compared to Beadle’s 15.8 PPG and 10.3 RPG in the 2013-14 season.

In SHSU’s 74-67 win over Houston Baptist on Saturday, both Robertson and Dorsey recorded more than 20 points, the first time all season that two Bearkats have recorded more than 20 points in the same game.

In the practice before Saturday’s win, head coach Brenda Nicholls had some words with her players and Dorsey stepped up.

“[Friday] in practice my coach was saying how Shernise does it by herself,” Dorsey said after the win. “That motivated me to pick it up because she does it by herself. We can’t leave her hanging.”

Nicholls also wants more Bearkats to step up besides Robertson and Dorsey every game.

“If we get the post players to do the same thing, we will be doing great,” Nicholls said.

Three of the final eight games are at Johnson Coliseum as the Bearkats will have to travel for five of their last six games. In the eight games remaining, four games will be against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Central Arkansas. SHSU has back-to-back home games in the coming week, first against TAMU-CC this Saturday and Abilene Christian on Feb. 12.

SHSU’s will finish the regular season in Beaumont against Lamar before heading to Nacogdoches against Stephen F. Austin State. Both the Cardinals and Lady Jacks are atop the SLC with only two losses in the SLC.

The Kats will need to go deeper into the bench and get more productivity from players not named Robertson and Dorsey every game. If the season ended today, the Kats would be in the SLC tournament, but to make a deep run, they need to get full productivity from every player.

On Saturday against A&M-Corpus Christi, the Kats are looking for their fourth win in five games. Tipoff against the Islanders is set for 2 p.m. at Johnson Coliseum.

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