BEAUMONT – Matthew Barrow hit four free throws in the final 27 seconds of overtime to give the Lamar Cardinals a 93-90 victory over Sam Houston State Saturday night.
Sam Houston held a 74-72 lead with 1:25 left in regulation. A Lamar tip-in with 27 seconds gave the Cardinals a 76-74 lear. DeLuis Ramirez forced overtime with a fast break basket with 22 seconds remaining to tie the game 76-76.
Lamar hit three consecutive three point baskets to take an 85-78 lead three minutes into the extra period. Sam Houston cut the margin to one, 89-88, on a three point basket by McDaniel before Barrow’s four game-winning free throws.
The 91 points by Lamar are the most given up by the Bearkats this season. San Diego State had the previous high by an SHSU opponent in the Aztecs’ 79-78 overtime win in California in December. The extra period marked Sam Houston’s third overtime of the year.
Lamar evened its season mark at 8-8 with the victory. The Cardinals are 2-1 in Southland Conference play. Sam Houston is 13-3 for the year and 2-2 in league action.
Five Bearkats scored in double figures. Ramirez and Ashton Mitchell both scored 19 points. The 19 points was a career high for Mitchell. Shamir McDaniel had 13 points, John Gardiner 12, and Ryan Bright 11. Gardiner spent most of the second half on the bench in foul trouble and fouled out with three minutes left in regulation.
Lamar was 25-of-27 at the free throw line while SHSU was 11-of-18 at the charity stripe.
Sam Houston jumped out to a 13-7 lead in the first six minutes of the contest. The Cardinals cut the lead to two points, 17-15, the Bearkats started a 17-5 run. Jeremy Thomas hit a three-point basket 3:24 before hald to build a 14 point margin, 34-20.
Lamar finished the second half with a 13-5 run to end the first half with Sam Houston up 39-33. The Bearkats shot 55 percent in the first half while holding the Cardinals to 39 percent.
With Sam Houston up by nine, 49-40, five minutes into the second half, Lamar went on a 16-4 run to go up 58-53. A 10-3 Bearkat run put the Bearkats ahead 63-61 on a Barkley Falkner free throw with 7:41 to play.
The final seven minutes of regulation saw six ties and three lead changes. Ramirez forced overtime with a fast break basket with 22 seconds remaining to tie the game 76-76.
Sam Houston faces Stephen F. Austin Thursday at 7 p.m. at Johnson Coliseum