Facing the Division I Southland Preseason No. 2 Sam Houston State Bearkats, the Central Baptist Lady Mustangs didn’t go down without a fight in an 86-62 loss in Huntsville, Texas.

After SHSU opened the game on a 9-0 run across the first three minutes, the Lady Mustangs went on a run of their own, closing the gap to 9-7 and then trailing by four at a 15-11 score with 3:14 left in the first quarter. But, from that point on, the Bearkats heated up and put some distance between them and CBC as they led 28-15 after one.

Lady Mustang senior guard Holly Allen paced CBC with five points, playing all 10 minutes of the quarter, but it was SHSU sophomore Kaylee Jefferson and junior Amber Leggett that helped push the Bearkat lead to 13 as they scored nine and seven respectively in the opening frame.

After SHSU pushed its lead out to 15 and maintained a double-digit lead throughout much of the second quarter, it was a late surge by CBC senior guard/forward Alexis Augustus, sophomore guard Macey Decker and freshman guard Somer Frost that helped cut the lead to single digits as the Lady Mustangs trailed by five heading into halftime.

Frost’s five points over the final 1:24 paced the CBC offense as the Lady Mustangs outscored the Bearkats 19-11 to close the gap to 39-34 at the break.

A poor shooting performance by SHSU helped pave the way for that CBC comeback as the Bearkats made just 4 of 18 shots in the period.

A field goal by Allen cut the SHSU lead to three to open the third, but that would be the lone basket for the Lady Mustangs over the next two minutes as the Bearkats raced out to a nine-point lead with 7:11 left in the third.

That lead eventually grew to 25 by the end of the third as the CBC offense shot just 35.7 percent from the field in the quarter.

Meanwhile, SHSU made 48 percent of its shots and nearly tripled the Lady Mustangs made field goals, hitting 12 to CBC’s five.

Leggett scored nine in the period, while junior guard Jolicia Williams scored 10 points off the bench as the Bearkats outscored CBC 34-14 in the third period.

The fourth saw the Lady Mustangs once again outscore SHSU, but it was a slim margin as CBC won the quarter 14-13. The Lady Mustangs had their best offensive quarter of the game in terms of shooting percentage as they knocked down 45.5 percent of shots in the fourth.

Conversely, the Bearkats had their worst shooting quarter of the night, hitting just 17.6 percent of shots taken in the final frame.

Augustus led the way for CBC as she scored 11 points, while junior forward Chrishey Wilkes nearly recorded a double-double with eight points and 10 rebounds.

Jefferson and Leggett each scored 18, while Williams added 12 for the Bearkats. Senior Courtney Cleveland, along with Jefferson, who had 12 rebounds, finished with a double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds.

The Lady Mustangs face another Southland Conference opponent Saturday as they head down Bruce Street to take on the University of Central Arkansas Sugar Bears.

Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.

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