HUNTSVILLE -- Shamir McDaniel scored 18 points including a field goal and a free throw for a three-point play with 44 seconds left to provide the winning points for Sam Houston State as the Bearkats defeated Texas Tech of the Big 12 56-44 at Johnson Coliseum.
A crowd of 4,842 watched as the Bearkats handed Texas Tech their second loss in the four meetings between Sam Houston State Coach Bob Marlin and basketball legend Bob Knight. The crowd was the third largest in Johnson Coliseum history, behind only 5,068 at the Southland Conference final vs. Stephen F. Austin in 2003 and 5,002 at a regular season game with SFA in 1982.
Sam Houston handed Knight his first loss as coach at Texas Tech in December, 2002.
"This was a good win for us," SHSU head coach Bob Marlin said. "I appreciate Coach (Knight) for playing this game. I think both teams will be better because of this."
The Bearkats played a swarming defense that held the Red Raiders to just 39.1 percent shooting from the floor as Texas Tech hit 18 of 46 with only three treys. Martin Zeno led Texas Tech with 16 points.
The Bearkats took a two-point lead into the half, up 25-23. McDaniel then got the Kats off to a hot start in the second half, hitting a pair of 3-pointers in the first two minutes.
"I wasn't trying to do anything different, I just wanted to come out and make a few shots," McDaniel said. "The guys did a good job of getting me the ball in good situations."
Sam Houston also out-rebounded the Raiders 44-32 as Ryan Bright pulled down a season high 12 boards.
"I thought our defense was the key tonight," Bright said. "We worked for the first two weeks of practice just on that, and it wasn't fun. But as you can see, it paid off for us tonight."
The game was tied six times and the lead changed hands four occasions. Texas Tech took an early lead, going up 16-8 with 9:29 to play in the first half. But the Bearkats fought back to take a five point lead, 25-20 with 37 seconds to play before halftime. SHSU led at intermission 25-23.
The last time the game was tied was at 45-45 with 4:19 to play on a layup by John Robinson.
Sam Houston outscored the Red Raiders 11-7 in the next three minutes. Down four, 56-52, Texas Tech missed three consecutive three point tries in the final 20 seconds. At the buzzer, Alan Voskull was fouled and made two of his final three free throws to cut the lead to two. But John Gardiner pulled down the rebound after his miss to cap the victory.
The win extends the Bearkats nonconference home-court winning streak to 31 games, the third-longest in the nation behind Utah State and Duke