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SHSU stuck on the outside of SLC tournament

Sports Reporter

Published: Thursday, February 20, 2014

Updated: Thursday, February 20, 2014 01:02

Angela Beadle

Courtesy GoBearkats.com

Senior post player Angela Beadle is coming into the match against University of Incarnate Word as Southland Conference’s Player of the Week. Beadle posted a season-high 34 points last week against Southeastern Louisiana.

The race for the women’s Southland Conference tournament is reaching a fevered pitch as the end of the regular season approaches for the women’s basketball team.

With only three weekends remaining in the regular season, every game is important as the outcomes will decide the Bearkats’ fate.

The top eight teams earn berths to the conference tournament, and SHSU holds a 6-7 recordin league play, currently seeding them in 10th place.

The Bearkats would place at 7-7, if they snag a victory Saturday against Lamar, allowing them to jump from 10th place into a three-way tie for seventh with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Houston Baptist.

If they climb up to 7-7, the Bearkats will go ahead of Abilene Christian, a conference newcomer, who is ineligible for postseason play.

With the conference coming down to the wire, head coach Brenda Nichols is using the tension as a motivational tool.

“We drew it up today,” she said. “We showed the girls who fell where and what teams would bounce around.”

The berth battle begins Saturday for SHSU as they face the Lamar Cardinals for their second tangle of the season.These two ball clubs matched up a few weeks agowhere the Cardinals overwhelmed the Bearkats, 70-45.

The first half was competitive, both teams going into the locker room tied at 25-25.

However, momentum fell in favor of Lamar during the second half.The Cardinals pulled together a 15-0 run towards the middle of the half with no answer from the Bearkats.

Despite the previous loss, Nichols knows her team is prepared.

“We’re comfortable playing on their floor,” she said. “We know we can beat them.”

Southeastern Louisiana also sits in front of SHSU in conference standings, clinging on to a narrow one-game lead at 6-6. The Lions and the Bearkats last faced each other in a mid-January contest where SHSU barely escaped Hammond, La., with an 86-85 overtime victory.

Senior guard Jasmine Johnsonpropelled the Bearkats to the victory with a 26-point performance.

Even though claiming a berth in the conference tournament is time-sensitive, Nicholls isn’t looking too far down the road.

“We’ve just got to take it one game at a time,” she said. “We’re working hard every day, and we know it’s going to come down to the wire, but it’s a matter of believing.”

SHSU and Lamar will tip-off Saturday at 6 p.m. in Beaumont.

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