Archive | March 2013

Bearkats WBB Begins WNIT Tomorrow Night

Courtesy: Paul Ridings, Jr., SHSU Sports Information

The Sam Houston women’s basketball team makes its first Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) appearance Thursday night when the Bearkats take on Tulane at 7 p.m. at Devlin Field House in New Orleans.

Sam Houston earned its WNIT berth with an 18-14 overall record, going 13-5 to earn the Bearkats’ their first Southland Conference regular season women’s basketball championship in 26 seasons in the league.

The Bearkats made their first women’s national post-season tournament appearance last year, defeating Rice in the first round of the Women’s Basketball Invitational (WBI) before falling in the quarterfinals to Northern Iowa.

For Tulane, Thursday’s game marks the Green Wave’s third trip to the WNIT in as many years and Tulane’s 15th overall postseason appearance.

Tulane enter the tournament with a 22-8 overall record after tying for second place in Conference USA.

“Everyone, coaches and players, is really excited still be playing at this time of the year,” head coach Brenda Nichols said. “We know Tulane has an outstanding team with a really strong backcourt.”

Sam Houston was the runner-up in the Southland post-season tournament in Katy last weekend, reaching the league finals for the first time.

Sequeena Thomas and Angela Beadle were named all-tournament.

Thomas averaged 16.0 points and 15.0 rebounds per game while teammate Beadle pulled down 11 rebounds in the championship game and nine in the semifinals along with scoring 19 against Lamar.

The Southland Conference has sent a team to the WNIT for seven consecutive years with Sam Houston State receiving its first-ever invitation this season.

Thomas also earned honors as Southland “Defensive Player of the Year”, leading the league in rebounding with 12.5 rebounds per conference game, including 9.4 defensive rebounds per league game.

She registered 1.3 blocks per contest and recorded a league-best 19 double-doubles.

Brenda Nichols earned her first coach of the year award after guiding the Bearkats to their first overall South Conference regular-season championship.

Sam Houston senior guard Britni Martin was selected to the All-Southland first team for the third consecutive season.

Martin leads the Bearkats in scoring with 16.2 points per game, which ranks fifth in the Southland.

She ranks second in the league in 3-pointers made (2.5 per game), fourth in free throw percentage (.817) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4) and fifth in assists (4.2).

Thomas completed the first-team all-conference selections.

Sam Houston’s will feature live audio streaming of Thursday’s WNIT game.

Bearkat WBB Reaches Pinnacle Of Success

Courtesy: Paul Ridings, Jr., SHSU Sports Information

The Sam Houston women’s basketball team will play the Tulane Green Wave Thursdays night in New Orleans in the first round of the Women’s National Invitational Tournament.

The full 64-team field for the postseason WNIT was announced Monday night.

The winner of the Sam Houston vs. Tulane game faces the Arkansas vs. Memphis winner.

Those two teams will face off Thursday in Fayetteville.

Tulane reached the quarterfinals of the Conference USA post-season tournament, falling to host Tulsa 75-68.

The Green Wave produced a 22-8 record during the 2013 seasons.

Tulane tied for second place in Conference USA with an 11-4 league mark.

Sam Houston State earned its WNIT postseason berth by finishing as co-champions in the Southland Conference and advancing to its first Southland post-season tournament finals appearance.

The 2013 WNIT field will include 31 teams that earned automatic berths and 33 teams that are selected at-large.

“The girls and coaching staff are excited to still be playing basketball,” head coach Brenda Nichols said. “Looking at who some of the bubble teams are for NCAA selection, the WNIT should have an outstanding field this year. It’s a thrill to get to test ourselves against the best.”

The postseason WNIT will open with first-round games Wednesday through Friday, March 20-22.

The event culminates Saturday, April 6, with the championship game which will be telecast live on CBS Sports Network.

All games are hosted by participating schools.

Sam Houston earned its first women’s basketball Southland Conference regular season title in its 26 years in the league in 2013 with an 18-14 overall mark and 13-5 league record.

The WNIT schedule by round:
Round 1 – March 20-22
Round 2 – March 23-25
Round 3 – March 27-29
Quarterfinals – March 30-April 1
Semifinals – April 3-4
Championship Game – April 6, 2 p.m.

Benavidez’s Earns SLC “Hitter of The Week” After Captivating Performance

Courtesy: Paul Ridings, Jr., SHSU Sports Information

Sam Houston’s Tori Benavidez has been named as Southland Conference softball “Hitter of the Week”, the league office announced Monday.

Benavidez helped lead Sam Houston State to a 4-1 record on the week, which included a doubleheader sweep of Purdue and a series win against Central Arkansas.

Against the Boilermakers, the senior from Midlothian, Texas (Midlothian H.S.), went 3-for-7 at the plate and knocked a solo home run in the second game which the Bearkats won 3-2.

In the series against Central Arkansas, Benavidez recorded two hits in each game, going 6-for-11 in the three games.

In Sam Houston’s 9-8 win against the Bears, Benavidez recorded two hits, including a triple and accounted for five runs with three RBIs and two runs scored.

On the week, Benavidez hit .500 with an .889 slugging percentage and .500 on-base percentage.

For the season, Benavidez is hitting .420 with a double, three triples, two home runs and nine RBIs.

She ranks second in the Southland Conference in hitting this season.

Next action for the Bearkat softball team is a 5 p.m. matchup with the University of Houston Wednesday at 5 p.m.

Following the contest with the Cougars, Sam Houston will head to Beaumont for a weekend three-game series against Lamar.

Splitsville For The Bearkats

Courtesy: Paul Ridings, Jr., SHSU Sports Information

Kim Damian’s RBI single in the bottom of the sixth inning brought in the winning run as Sam Houston defeated Central Arkansas 9-8 in the second game of a Southland softball doubleheader Saturday.

Behind 13 strikeouts by UCA pitcher Kelsie Armstrong, the Bears won the first game of the doubleheader 5-3.

The two teams will meet in the third and final game of the series Sunday at 12 noon.

The loss in the nightcap was Central Arkansas’s first in conference play.

UCA is 20-8 for the year and 4-1 in the Southland.

Sam Houston now stands 13-15 for the year and 2-3 in league action.

Shortstop Lissa Avitia unleashed a double down the left field line to put a run on the board for UCA in the top of the second inning of Saturday’s first game.

The shot scored first baseman Ashley Boswell who reached second on an error.

Hillary Adams got the run back immediately, leading off the bottom of the second with a solo shot to left center for the designated player’s ninth home run of the 2013 season.

Third baseman Tiffany Roby put the Bears up 2-1 in the top of the fourth with her third home run of the year on a shot to left center.

UCA upped its margin to 5-1 with a two-run double by pinch hitter Jessie Taylor and a sacrifice fly by right fielder Sam Forest in the top of the sixth inning.

The Bearkats picked up two runs in the bottom of the fifth as catcher Ashley Isbell produced her second home run of the season.

Kelsie Armstrong, the Southland Conference’s strike out leader this season, fanned 13 Bearkats in the first game to up her record to 13-5.

Shelby Lancaster (7-5) took the loss in the pitching circle.

Amber Neal pitched one and two thirds innings in relief.

Kim Damian continued the home run parade with a solo shot to left fielder to open the second game for the Bearkats.

A three-run triple by center fielder Tori Benavidez and an RBI single by right fielder Cecilia Castillo added four runs to the Bearkat total in the second.

Back-to-back run-scoring singles by shortstop Tiffany Castillo and left fielder Jessica Slater lifted Sam Houston to a 7-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning.

SHSU pitcher Meme Quinn did not give up a hit until the fourth inning and shut out the Bears for five innings before giving up a home run to Ashley Boswell in the sixth.

The solo shot opened the floodgates, however as UCA ended the innings with seven more runs and an 8-7 lead.