Women’s Basketball V. ACU

Coming off two straight losses, the Sam Houston State University Women’s Basketball team fought hard against Abilene Christian University, but even with the lead at the half, the Kats couldn’t pull off the win. Madelyn Batista and Mikayla Woods both had explosive nights on Tuesday. Woods lead the team with 17 points and six rebounds while Batista followed closely behind with 16 points, including a double-double. The Kats started the night ranked seventh in the Western Athletic Conference, but after this loss and the game on Thursday, the Kats now stand at ninth.

The game got off to a quick 3-2 start in the first 45 seconds thanks to Batista’s layup and was tied at five within the first minute. The formerly ninth-ranked ACU team was coming off a win at UT Arlington and that seemed to propel them throughout the game. At the six-minute mark, Mikayla Eddins landed a good layup to cut the lead from three to one. ACU would go on a 6-0 scoring run over a minute in the first quarter, only to be answered by a Bearkat scoring run. The Kats put up their own 6-0 run over 90 seconds to finish the first quarter with a score of 20-15.

The second quarter was slow-going until Sam Houston State gained the lead with eight seconds left in the half. Going into halftime, the Kats only trailed by one. The team hit 48.4% of their field goals but only a quarter of their 3-pointers in the first half. Their only free throw chances came in the second quarter, with the Kats shooting 80%.

As the second half began, Tierney Coleman took the lead back with a layup that was quickly answered by Addison Martin of ACU to make it 40-39. Three minutes in, Sydnee Kemp tied it back up at 44. The game would be tied again 90 seconds later, at 46. This scoring volley would continue until the last 50 seconds, which was void of scoring plays.

Going into the fourth quarter, Sam Houston State trailed by four. With those two losses in their rearview, this game felt like a rally waiting to happen. That rally came with only three minutes and 11 seconds left in the game when Chyna Allen tied it up in the paint. The Kats kept fighting all the way to the buzzer, but ACU took the win 74-68.

In the second half, the Kats made 44.4% of their field goals, a slight dip compared to the first half. The Kats also dropped their three-pointer completion to 20%, missing eight of the ten attempts. In contrast to the first half, the team had more free-throw opportunities in the second half. The Kats made five out of their seven attempts, making their free-throw percentage 71.4%. The Kats had 40 points in the paint and 21 points off turnovers against ACU.

This is anything but the end for th Sam Houston Bearkats. Next week, they will head to Las Vegas to participate in the WAC Tournament. The tournament begins on Monday, March 6 with four games taking place between the eight lowest-ranked teams. The ninth-ranked Kats will face the eighth-ranked ACU Wildcats in a rematch in the first round on Monday. If they win against ACU, they will face first-ranked Stephen F. Austin University in the quarterfinals on Wednesday the 8th at 12 pm.

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