Abakwe leads depleated Lady Kats to 3rd win
Published: Monday, January 15, 2001
Updated: Monday, November 22, 2010 04:11
After a horrible 72-47 loss to the University of Texas at San Antonio on Saturday, a game in which the Lady Bearkats saw another one of their players go down to injury, the Sam Houston State women's basketball team came back in grand fashion on Monday night. Senior post Brenda Abakwue saw to that. Abakwue scored 34 points and pulled down 21 rebounds as the Lady Bearkats knocked off McNeese State 67-60 in front of a small crowd at Johnson Coliseum. The win improves Sam Houston State to 2-5 in the Southland Conference (3-10 overall) and drops McNeese State to 1-6 in conference and 4-10 overall. In Saturday's matchup against UTSA, sophomore forward Alice Johnson went down with a knee injury midway through the first half. Ritter said Johnson will have an MRI today to determine the extent of the injury. Without Johnson and several other players who missed because of injury, the Lady Bearkats still managed to pull out a close conference game at home. "I thought we had some players step up tonight in (Johnson's) place," Ritter said after Monday night's game. "Brenda Abakwue coming through with 34 points and 21 rebounds and the fact that we were going inside and finishing helped. That was our game plan. We wanted to go inside and their post players just couldn't stop Brenda." Sam Houston State never trailed in the game, despite McNeese State guard Kellie Burbridge's 23 points on five-of-six from long range. Rotasha Allison helped keep Sam Houston State in front down the stretch by grabbing three steals with two of those resulting in Lady Bearkat scores. Allison's three-pointer with 2:42 remaining in the game gave Sam Houston its biggest lead at 60-49. "Rotasha did an excellent job of getting in the passing lane..." Ritter said. "(That is) three times they can't touch the ball and get a chance to score. She really did step up her defense tonight." The Cowgirls did not quit, however, and pulled within three points at 63-60 with 21 seconds remaining in regulation when Kelly Grieg nailed a three-pointer. Because the Lady Bearkats were in the bonus, Abakwue was fouled on the ensuing in bounds pass and made one-of-two free throws. Grieg's attempt at a layup then failed and Abakwue snatched the rebound before getting fouled. Once again, Abakwue hit one free shot. After missing her second attempt, fellow post player Olivia Villanueva got the rebound, but missed the put back. Abakwue ended the game as she started it, grabbing the missed shot and putting it back in as the final seconds dwindled off the clock. Stacy Allen also had a good night for Sam Houston State by scoring 15 points, four assists and five steals. Allison finished with a game-high seven steals and scored seven points. The Lady Bearkats return to action when they host Nicholls State at Johnson Coliseum on Thursday night at 7 p.m.