HUNTSVILLE, Tx. -- Playing its third NCAA Division I opponent of the week, the LSUA women’s basketball team had the deficit in single digits with less than five minutes left in the game, but a late run was enough for Sam Houston State as the Generals fell to the Bearkats 76-61 Sunday afternoon in an exhibition contest at the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum.
After Sam Houston scored first, Katie Lemieux hit a mid-range jumper to not just tie the game, but send the Generals on a 10-0 run that would give LSUA its largest lead of the game. Lillie Snowden capped the run with a three pointer to make it 10-2 Generals with 6:15 remaining in the quarter. However, the Bearkats responded with their own 10-0 run to retake the lead at 12-10 with just under a minute to play in the quarter. SHSU would take a 15-12 lead into the second quarter.
Once again, the Bearkats opened the scoring to start the second period, and once again LSUA responded with back-to-back buckets by Tamia Hewitt, which made the score 17-16. Sam Houston extended the lead to seven points after a Jeda Ballew three that made the score 26-19 with just more than four minutes left before halftime. But back-to-back threes by Jena Mabile and Lemieux got the Generals back within a point at 26-25. The two teams would trade long balls to make it 29-28 SHSU with two minutes remaining. But the Bearkats finished the half on an 8-0 run to take a 36-28 lead into the break.
LSUA fought to keep it close as the third quarter began, using a Chantal Hill three-pointer to make the score 40-33 just two minutes into the second half. Sam Houston would extend the lead up to 13 points as Ashleigh Cooper’s free throws made the score 47-34 with 5:10 to go, but Lemieux worked to keep the Generals close with four straight points to make it 47-38 with 4:30 left in the period. But the Bearkats used the charity stripe to really open up the lead as SHSU closed the third quarter on an 7-0 run, five of those coming from the free throw line, giving Sam Houston a 54-38 lead going to the final ten minutes.
Facing the 16 point deficit, the Generals immediately made the move to get back in the game. Lemieux opened the quarter’s scoring by getting to the free throw line on back-to-back possessions, hitting three of her four attempts to cut it down to 54-41. After the Bearkats got a basket, the Generals got a lay-up by Shelanita Starks and a three pointer by Paige Troutman to cut the lead down to just ten. LSUA cut the deficit down into single digits on the Generals’ next possession as Marqueshia Thompson split a pair at the free throw line to make it 56-47 with 6:40 to go.
The two teams would swap scores on the next few possessions. E’Layzha Bates would hit a pair of free throws with 4:51 left in the game to make the score 60-51. But Sam Houston got the one big run it needed to end LSUA’s upset hopes as Akarian Morgan put back an Ashleigh Cooper miss to start the decisive 12-2 run. Kevyn Ferriera ended the run with a three-pointer with just less than two minutes left to give the Bearkats its largest lead of the game at 72-53. LSUA scored eight of the last 12 points of the game with Troutman scoring a lay-up just before the horn for the final score.
Katie Lemieux was the lone Generals player in double figures in points, with 16. She was also one rebound shy of a double-double for the second straight game, collecting a team high nine boards. The Generals hit on 42.3% of their shots from the field, including an even 50% from above the three point arc, draining nine of their 18 attempts.
LSUA opens the regular season on Wednesday as the Generals host Xavier of Louisiana. Opening tip against the Gold Nuggets (0-2) is set for 5:00 P.M. in The Fort.