Bearkats Comeback Falls Short, Lose 61-58 to McNeese State

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The Sam Houston Bearkats fall to the McNeese State Cowgirls 61-58 Thursday afternoon in the team’s home finale at Johnson Coliseum. The loss moves the Bearkats to 3-24 overall (3-14 SLC).

The game was close and contested going into the half with the Cowgirls leading 30-23, but the Kats’ play from the field was not pretty. The team shot just 23.1 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes of action.

“I think what made it difficult was that we were rushing,” freshman guard Jenniffer Oramas said. “I was taking bad shots really. I have butterflies before every game, I’m not going to lie. It took a while to get rid of them.”

Coming out of the half, SHSU rallied and came out to play. The Kats shot better from the field, improving their field goal percentage to 38.5 percent, and kept the game tightly contested till the fourth quarter.

“At the half I told them that they were kicking us at the fast break points and on the boards because we were not boxing out,” head coach Brenda Welch-Nichols said. “And that kills us, we haven’t done a good job at boxing out.”

Thursday’s game marked the women’s basketball team’s home finale at Johnson Colesium, which means it was the last collegiate home game for both seniors guard Morghen Day and center Jasmine McCants. McCants scored a total of nine points and one block while Day notched six points and had one steal.

For both seniors, they feel they ended their basketball careers in the Coliseum on a good note.

“The emotions were high,” Day said. “We came out and I think we had a good game for our last home game. It was a tough fight.”

McCants feels that she handed the emotions of her last game in Huntsville well.

“After playing basketball for four years you don’t really get nervous anymore” McCants said. “I just know that I had to go out there to get the win and do what I have to do for my team. I knew that I had to play like I knew how to play.”

The last few seconds had fans and spectators on the edge of their seats. The Bearkats had the ball to inbound with five ticks left on the clock. In desperation, the ball was shot at full court and barley missed the net, which would have sent the game into overtime.

“We would have won,” Oramas said. “Because we had the momentum and I think we would have pushed through.”

Nichols also felt strong about her team’s chances of winning if the full court heave was successful.

“If we would have scored that last shot, we would have gone to overtime” Nichols said. “We would have probably won to ball game too just with momentum.”

The three-win Bearkats will now hit the road to take on conference rival Stephen F. Austin on March 4 in Nacogdoches. It will be the second meeting between the two teams; with SFA topping SHSU back on Feb. 2.

Tip-off is set for 3:30 p.m. and is the last game of the regular season.