The Sam Houston State University Women’s basketball team knocked off the Northwestern State University Demons 66-55 thanks to the Bearkats’ consistent defense all night.
“You know L.B. [senior forward Lydia Baxter] probably had 20 [rebounds] by herself,” head coach Ravon Justice said. “She was just a dog on the board. I tell my kids all the time you’re either going to be a pit bull or a poodle, and I thought she was a pit bull tonight.”
The Kats jumped out to an early 10-4 lead with junior guard Jenniffer Oramas leading the offense with six of the first 10 points. On the other side of the ball Baxter had two steals to help the Bearkats’ defense. To end the first quarter, SHSU went on an 8-5 run with the help of senior guard Dominque Maxwell going 4-4 from the free throw line. This put the Bearkats ahead 18-10 at the end of the quarter.
Despite a string of 11 turnovers that led to just 13 points, the Bearkat defense remained strong as Baxter gained two more steals to move her total up to four. With the offense slowing and only shooting 32.4 percent from the field and 30 percent from the three point line, the Bearkats saw their halftime lead trimmed to 10.
SHSU quickly took a commanding 42-27 lead in the second half. Freshman forward Amber Leggett helped push the Bearkats with her 12 points, nine rebounds and two steals.
“[I’m] very proud of our team,” Baxter said. “We work on defense every day. The majority of our practice is defense. The fact that we are carrying over to the game is a positive.”
With 19 of the 54 boards for the team Baxter had a career night. SHSU held the Demons to 23.7 percent shooting from the field and 20 percent from the three point line. The defense for the Bearkats forced 19 turnovers to secure the win.
The Bearkats will host the Lamar Cardinals Saturday at 3:00 p.m. at the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum in Huntsville.