Women’s Basketball: Big second half runs sink SLU versus Bearkats

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HAMMOND, La. – A pair of game-changing runs in the second half proved the difference in Sam Houston State’s 84-69 victory over Southeastern Louisiana in Southland Conference women’s basketball action Wednesday night in the University Center.

SLU (5-9, 2-3 Southland) led league-leading Sam Houston State (10-4, 5-0 Southland) at the half, but the Bearkats opened the third quarter with an 11-2 rally to take control for good. The Lady Lions cut the lead to seven early in the final period, but SHSU ended any comeback hopes with a 12-0 fourth-quarter run.

Alexius Horne scored a career-high 19 points to lead the Southeastern offensive attack. Horne was joined in double figures by Morgan Carrier and Jyar Francis, who chipped in with 15 and 14 points, respectively.

Celica Sterling added nine points for the Lady Lions, while Tyler Morrison led SLU with three assists. Francis and Caitlyn Williams shared team-high honors with five rebounds apiece.

Jaylonn Walker led SHSU with a game-high 21 points, while Jenniffer Orams and Amber Leggett contributed to the balanced Bearkat attack with 19 points apiece. Sam Houston State did much of its damage from the free-throw line, taking advantage of a season-high 29 SLU fouls with a 26-for-31 success rate from the charity stripe. La’Sha Haynes paced the Bearkats with 11 rebounds and five assists.

The teams played to a standstill in the opening quarter, as neither team could gain a clear advantage. The lead for either team would be no more than three in the first 10 minutes, as a three by Horne knotted the score at 21-21 after the opening period of play.

The second quarter offered more of the same, as again neither team could extend the lead further than three points. Back-to-back buckets by Aminat Jurbril and Daija Harvey to close the period sent Southeastern into the second half with a 37-36 lead.

Sam Houston State took control in the third quarter, scoring the period’s first nine points and holding SLU scoreless for the first four minutes of the second half. SHSU grew its lead to as many as 10 early in the quarter, but Hailey Giaratano’s layup pulled SLU to within 51-47 with 2:45 left in the period.

A three by Walker and a pair of baskets by Kiera McKinney helped Sam Houston State close the quarter with an 11-5 run and take a 62-53 lead into the final 10 minutes.

Morrison opened the fourth quarter with a layup to cut the SHSU lead to seven, but the Bearkats answered with a 12-0 run to dash SLU’s comeback hopes. By the time a pair of Horne free throws ended the scoring drought, the Lady Lions were facing a 19-point deficit. Southeastern would get no closer than 13 the rest of the way.

Up Next
On Saturday, Southeastern will close out its three-game home stand with a 1 p.m. contest versus Nicholls in the University Center.

Saturday is Youth Day in the University Center, as all fans 12 and under will receive free admission. Any fan with a current valid middle school, junior high or high school ID receives admission for $3.

Breonca Ducksworth is Saturday’s Spotlight Player of the Game. The first 150 fans will receive a trading card featuring the Taylorsville, Mississippi native courtesy of PRIDE.

The SLU-Nicholls game will be broadcast live in the Hammond area on KSLU-FM (90.9), online at www.LionSports.net/listenlive and via the TuneIn Radio and Lions Gameday Experience apps.

The Southeastern Sports Network will offer a free video stream of Saturday’s Lady Lions-Colonels league matchup. Tune in online at www.LionSports.net or the Lions Game Day Experience app for Android or iOS devices. Fans can also watch on Southeastern’s YouTube channel (/SLUathletics) with any mobile, tablet or smart TV device (e.g., Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Android TV and Roku).

Sam Houston State 84 (10-5, 5-0 SLC)
Leggett 6-11 5-6 19, Cleveland 2-8 3-5 7, Haynes 2-4 0-0 11, Cook 0-4 6-6 6, Walker 7-19 5-5 21, Oramas 6-7 7-8 19, McKinney 4-4 0-1 8, Harrell 0-0 0-0 0, Cannady 0-0 0-0 0, Jefferson 0-0 0-0 0, Osborne 0-0 0-0 0, Harston 0-1 0-0 0, Henderson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-58 26-31 84.
Southeastern Louisiana 69 (5-9, 2-3 SLC)
Carrier 6-9 0-0 15, Williams 0-1 0-0 0, Sterling 3-7 2-2 9, Morrison 2-5 2-2 6, Horne 3-8 12-13 19, Francis 7-16 0-0 14, Giaratano 1- 0-0 2, Jubril 1-4 0-0 2, Harvey 1-2 0-0 2, Huderson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-53 16-17 69.
End of 1st Quarter – SLU 21, SHSU 21. Halftime – SLU 37, SHSU 36. End of 3rd Quarter – SHSU 62, SLU 53. 3-point goals – SHSU 4-17 (Walker 2-9, Leggett 2-5, Cook 0-3), SLU 5-13 (Carrier 3-5, Sterling 1-3, Horne 1-2, Francis 0-2, Morrison 0-1). Technical Fouls – None. Fouled Out – Cleveland, Sterling. Rebounds – SHSU 35 (Haynes 11), SLU 29 (Francis, Williams 5). Assists – SHSU 13 (Haynes 5), SLU 5 (Morrison 3). Total Fouls – SHSU 21, SLU 29. A – 454.

TICKET INFORMATION
For ticket information on the upcoming Southeastern women’s basketball season, contact the Southeastern Athletics Ticket Office at (985) 549-5466 or visit www.lionsports.net/tickets.

SOCIAL MEDIA
For more information on Southeastern Women’s Basketball, follow @LionUpWBB on Twitter, like /SoutheasternWBB on Facebook and subscribe to the SLUathletics YouTube channel.

CLEAR BAG POLICY
Southeastern Athletics has instituted a clear bag policy for all ticketed events, effective with the start of football season. For more information on the clear bag policy, visit www.LionSports.net/clear.

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