SAN DIEGO, CA -- Shamir McDaniel scored a career-high 25 points but a jumper at the end of overtime missed and the Sam Houston State Bearkats (10-1) fell for the first time this year, 79-78 to San Diego State.
The Bearkats looked like they were going to escape with a victory in regulation, but with a chance to ice the game, John Gardiner missed a pair of free throws and the Aztecs came back the other way and scored with less than a second remaing to tie the game and force overtime.
At the end of overtime, the Kats led heading into the final seconds again, and once again, the Aztecs came up with a big shot. Gardiner hit a jumper with 30 seconds left to play to put SHSU up 78-77. The Aztecs came down the floor and fired up a three that missed, but Billy White grabbed the offensive rebound and put it back for the win.
Ryan Bennett (12) and Jeremy Thomas (11) both came off the bench to score in double figures for the Kats.
Sam Houston State led the entire first half and were up three at intermission, 39-36, after shooting a hot 13-of-24 (54.2 percent) in the first period. The Bearkats led by as many as six points early in the game. But an Aztec squad that ranks in the top 20 nationally in steals forced 21 Sam Houston turnovers and the Bearkats hit only two of their six three point attempts in the second half as San Diego State outscored SHSU 33-30 to knot the game at 69-69 at the end of regulation.
For the contest, SHSU hit 49.1 per cent from the field (27-of-55) while the Aztecs shot 40.8 (29-of-71). Rebounding was close with the Aztecs pulling down 42 boards to Sam Houston's 40 rebounds.
The Kats will remain in California for one more game, taking on Loyola Marymount Sunday afternoon.