NACOGDOCHES, Texas (AP) - After the Sam Houston men’s basketball team got out to an uncharacteristically slow start the Bearkats jumped all over Nicholls State on their way to an 88-61 blowout win. With the victory the Bearkats moved to 3-1 in Southland play.
“The biggest thing from our start today is that we were patient and we didn’t get frustrated even though we got down by 11. We had a really good attitude and we just kept playing. I was as proud of that as anything today,” Bearkat head coach Jason Hooten said.
Nicholls scored the first eight points of the game and jumped out to a 13-2 lead before the Kats got into the game. Once the Kats found their legs, they went on a 15-4 run to tie the game 17-17.
With 6:02 left in the first half, a pair of free throws by Marquel McKinney gave the Bearkats their first lead of the game, 26-25. SHSU outscored the Colonels 40-18 over the final 15 minutes to take a 42-31 lead at the half.
SHSU scored the first 10 points of the second half and wouldn’t let up, leading by as many as 30 points in the game. The Kats didn’t give Nicholls any lifeline Saturday after Sam Houston nearly squandered a 24 point lead against McNeese Thursday night.
“We used Thursday night as a positive when we went into the locker room,” Hooten added. “We blew a 24 point lead and next time we have a 24 point lead what are we going to do? I thought we responded today and we continued to play and didn’t get sloppy. I was proud of how we finished the game.”
The Bearkats shot an impressive 57% from the field for the game. Nicholls hit just 45% of their field goals after their hot start. Jabari Peters led all scorers with 18 points while also dishing out seven assists.
“When we came to the first timeout, coach told us we weren’t playing hard enough and he was right,” said Peters. “We didn’t come out with the right energy so we just had to pick our energy up and we played our kind of basketball. When we execute we get great shots and we make them.”
Baxter had 12 points and Terrance Motley added 10. Michael Holyfield had just four points but pulled down nine rebounds. 11 different Bearkats were able to get in the box score with a made basket.
Senior guard Dantrell Thomas led the Colonels with 14 points. Shane Rillieux scored 13 and TJ Carpenter chipped in 11.
The Bearkats will hit the road for two weeks with their next game at Southeastern Louisiana Thursday night.