Kats take down Cowboys, 72-56

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HUNTSVILLE – Marcus Harris had a double-double and Christopher Galbreath Jr. led the way with 17 points as the Sam Houston State Bearkats moved to 2-0 on the season with a 72-56 win over Hardin-Simmons on Tuesday night at Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum.

The Bearkats (2-0) overcame a tough shooting night with a commanding 53-34 edge on the boards with six players finishing with at least six boards against the Cowboys (0-1) who were making their season debut. Galbreath led all players with 17 points, including nine in the second half and seven boards for the game, while John Dewey III and Harris each added a dozen points.

Harris scored seven of his 12 points in the second half and added 10 boards for his first career double-double, while Cameron Delaney just missed a double-double of his own with nine points and 10 rebounds.

After hitting 10 three-point tries in the season opener on Saturday, Sam Houston was just 6-for-26 from beyond the arc, but hit five triples in the second half. That included a key three from Dewey early in the second stanza after the Cowboys had cut an 11-point halftime deficit to just five with six straight points to open the half.

That capped a stretch of seven straight points from Dewey and was followed a possession later from Harris that pushed the lead back to 43-31, a margin that would get no lower than eight at any point of the half.

The Kats held HSU to just four points for the first nine minutes of play in building a 16-4 lead and led by as much as 13 with 2:44 left in the half on a three from Harris. But that was the only three by Sam Houston in 12 tries in the opening period while the Cowboys hit four of their own to stay in the game.

HSU came out hot in the second half, but then the Bearkat defense locked down and held HSU to just one field goal over the next four minutes while going on a 15-3 run that stretched the lead out to 48-33 with 13:55 to play.

Layups from Dajuan Jones and Dewey kept the Cowboys at bay and a quick four-point stretch from Harris at the foul line pushed the lead back to a dozen with under six minutes to play. Galbreath then got going as well, hitting a pair of freebies and a jumper in consecutive possessions before canning a late triple with under three minutes to play that essentially iced the game.

The Bearkats will now hit the road for a 14-day road trip that will include four games during that stretch which spans through the Thanksgiving break. They will kick off that stretch on Saturday at Idaho before heading to Anchorage, Alaska, for three games at the 40th Great Alaska Shootout beginning November 22.