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Cowboys edge Bearkats in OT; Sam Houston snaps Cowgirls' win streak

Last Modified: Friday, February 08, 2013 12:04 AM

Special to the American Press

HUNTSVILLE, Texas — Dontae Cannon’s 7-foot floater with 1.2 seconds remaining lifted McNeese State to a 59-58 overtime win against Sam Houston State on Thursday night.

The Cowboys’ basketball program became the first school in the 50-year history of the Southland Conference to capture 300 league wins.

The victory, their second road win of the season, snapped a four-game losing streak.

“This was a good win over a quality opponent,” said McNeese head coach Dave Simmons. “It’s a big win for us. We grew up a bit tonight. We showed some leadership.”

That leadership came from Cannon who led all scorers with 19 points, including 15 in the second half and overtime. It was his layup with 2.9 seconds to play in regulation that sent the game into overtime.

“Dontae came up big for us tonight,” Simmons said. “But we got a lot of good minutes out of some good kids. It was a great team win tonight.”

Desharick Guidry added 11 points and five rebounds and knocked down all three of his shots from 3-point range for the Cowboys (9-12, 3-8). Kevin Hardy had nine points, seven rebounds and four assists while Jeremie Mitchell added eight points and seven boards.

Marquel McKinney led the Bearkats (12-10, 5-5) with 13 points. Paul Baxter added 10 points and six assists.

The Cowboys hit 13 of 14 fee throws and didn’t miss one until Adrian Fields went 1-for-2 from the line in overtime.

“I always say there are five games in a season that can be won or lost at the free-throw line,” Simmons said. “Guys stepped it up tonight and knocked them down.”

Sam Houston came out of the intermission and scored the first five points and led 38-27 after a dunk by Michael Holyfield with 16:25 to play.

Guidry followed with back-to-back 3-point goals to cut the lead to 38-33 with 13:59 to play but the Bearkats quickly responded with a McKinney 3-pointer to put the lead back up to eight points.

Hardy completed a traditional three-point play at the 9:23 mark to cut the lead to 43-40 when the Bearkats rolled off seven straight to go up 50-40 with 6:11 to play.

Guidry then hit his third trey of the game followed by two Cannon free throws, two Guidry free throws and a layup by Cannon to complete a 9-0 McNeese run and cut the gap to 50-49 with 3:12 to play.

Paul Baxter knocked down a 3-pointer for the Bearkats to make it a four-point game with 3 minutes to play and Cannon followed with two more free throws and his layup with 2.9 seconds to play to send the game to overtime.

In the overtime period, Sam Houston scored four of the first five points and led 58-54 after a Will Bond 3-pointer with 3:14 to play but Cannon, who scored five of McNeese’s seven points in the period, completed a traditional 3-point play to cut the gap to 58-57 with 56 seconds to play.

A foul by Hardy sent Darius Gatson to the free-throw line for a 1-and-1 with 28 seconds left. He missed the first but an offensive rebound by McKinney kept the Bearkats in control until he turned it over with 24 seconds to play. That led to Cannon’s winning jumper.

Women: Sam Houston State 60, McNeese State 53

The Sam Houston State women’s basketball team avenged its lone Southland Conference by defeating McNeese State 60-53, ending the Cowgirls’ season-best four-game winning streak.

Britni Martin scored 14 points to lead the Bearkats (13-9, 9-1 SLC). She also dished out five assists. Sequeena Thomas put up a double-double with 11 points and 15 rebounds. Jasmine Johnson and Nyha Carter scored 10 points each for the Bearkats. Carter added seven rebounds.

“This one felt very good,” coach Brenda Nicholls said. “This is just a great win for our team.”

The Cowgirls (12-10, 7-4) beat the Bearkats 62-58 on Jan. 12 in Lake Charles behind a career-high 33 points from Ashlyn Baggett. Baggett scored 22 points, including five 3-pointers Thursday night. She was the only Cowgirl in double figures. Caitlyn Baggett finished with a career-high 10 assists while Cecilia Okoye led the team with 11 rebounds.

The Cowgirls were outrebounded 44-32.

Sam Houston State led throughout the second half, despite several Cowgirls comebacks to cut the lead to two points. Caitlyn Baggett tied the score at 46-all on a layup with 7:35 left to play. Sam Houston State outscored McNeese 6-3 in the last minute with all six points coming from the free-throw line.

“We worked hard to make sure we maintained a four- to six-point lead because of their 3-point shooting,” Nicholls said. “It was huge for us to never give up that lead.”

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