Sam Houston State pulls away late for 67-55 victory against UTSA
HUNTSVILLE — Sam Houston State scored 14 of Saturday's final 16 points and the Bearkats pulled away from UTSA late for a 67-55 victory at Johnson Coliseum.
Freshman Kamra King’s 13 points led the way for the Roadrunners (7-12, 3-3 SLC), who dropped their third consecutive game in Huntsville.
Britni Martin scored a game-high 17 points to go along with eight rebounds to help the Bearkats (10-8, 5-2 SLC) sweep the season series for the first time since the 1999-2000 campaign.
Junior Simone Young’s banked-in 3-pointer tied the score at 53 with 2:56 to go, but it proved to be UTSA’s final basket of the contest and Sam Houston State quickly answered with its game-clinching run.
Khamra Echols responded with a trey of her own on the Bearkats’ next possession and they led the rest of the way. Layups by Sequeena Thomas, who finished with a double-double of 16 points and 13 rebounds, Angela Beadle and Martin, along with several free throws down the stretch were the difference in the 12-point triumph.
The Roadrunners did not score again until a pair of free throws by freshman Ashley Spaletta with 21 seconds to play.
Sam Houston State scored the game’s first five points and raced out to a 13-3 lead.
Kaysean Clavelle hit the first of her two 3-pointers in the half to cap the spurt. The UTSA offense struggled to score in the early going and sophomore Judy Jones provided the Birds' first basket of the contest at the 10:53 mark.
The Bearkats took their first 10-point advantage, 16-6, with another Clavelle 3-pointer before the Roadrunners began to slowly chip away at the deficit with free throws and suffocating defense.
Trailing 20-10, UTSA clamped down and allowed just one field goal in the final five minutes of the opening half. Meanwhile, a pair of Jalisa Montgomery free throws sparked a 14-3 run to close out the stanza. King went coast-to-coast after a Sam Houston State turnover for a basket, while seven free throws, four from junior Whitney Wright and three by Montgomery, gave the Roadrunners their first lead of the game at 21-20.
Jasmin Wiley’s three-point play briefly gave back the lead to the Bearkats, but Spaletta’s 3-pointer just before the buzzer made it 24-23.
Five points on UTSA’s first two possessions of the second half stretched the advantage to six and the Roadrunners held their largest cushion of the game, 34-27, following a Young jumper.
UTSA held off the Bearkats until the deciding final 2:39 of the contest.
The Roadrunners held Sam Houston State to 33.9 percent shooting, but they committed 18 turnovers and shot just 26.4 percent. Despite being whistled for six more fouls, UTSA held a four-point edge, 24-20, at the free-throw line.
The Roadrunners will be back in action on Wednesday, Feb. 1, when they will face UT Arlington (3-15, 1-5 SLC) in the first-ever contest at the new College Park Center. Tip-off for the womens-men doubleheader is scheduled for 6 p.m.