HUNTSVILLE, Texas -- Fueled by a strong start to the second half, the Sam Houston men’s basketball team held on for a 78-74 win over A&M-Corpus Christi Thursday night at Johnson Coliseum. The win improves the Bearkats league record to 7-2 and keeps them in second place in the league.
The Kats started the second period on an 18-3 run and continued to pour it on the Islanders, outscoring them 26-5 in the first nine minutes of the second half.
“This was a big win and not just because we’re tied with them but because they’re a very formidable team,” said Bearkat head coach Jason Hooten. “They’ve had a great year and really got it going in conference. These are the types of games you have to win. We had a big crowd and good atmosphere tonight.”
James Thomas led the way for the Kats with 17 points and Terrance Motley came off the bench to score 14 points. Paul Baxter and Kaheem Ransom both scored in double figures as well with 12 and 11 respectively.
Michael Holyfield was dominant inside, pulling down a career-best 16 rebounds and five blocks. The junior post player added seven points.
After leading by as many as 16 points in the second half the Islanders were able to chip away at the lead getting it as close as two points with 12 seconds left. The Bearkats made 15-of-19 free throws in the final four minutes to hold on for victory.
Motley scored 10 first-half points off the bench and pulled down five rebounds to lead all scorers at the break. The Kats trailed 31-27 at halftime but stayed with their game plan.
“Coach told us to get ours in the second half,” junior forward Terrance Motley said. “We started a little slow but we held them to what we were supposed to. We have a high offensive power team and we knew we were going to get some buckets in the second half.”
Jeff Beverly led the Islanders with 15 points, while John Jordan scored 14 points. Zane Knowles scored ten points and pulled down a team-high six rebounds but fouled out of the game with three minutes left.
The Bearkats are back at Johnson Coliseum Saturday to host Houston Baptist at 3:45 p.m.
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