ABILENE -- A strong second half helped the Sam Houston men’s basketball team put away Abilene Christian for a 70-51 win. The Bearkats finished a tough four-game road trip with a 3-1 record.
Jabari Peters and James Thomas each scored 12 points to lead the Kats offensively. Nathaniel Mason and Aurimas Majauskas each added nine points from the bench.
“Our team has been really good this year at bouncing back,” Bearkat head coach Jason Hooten said. “I knew they would come out today ready to play and really focused. I thought we played really hard and I thought today was one of our better defensive days.”
SHSU closed the first half on a 10-4 run to take a 12 point lead to the break. The Bearkats put Abilene Christian away in the second half. An 11-0 run midway through the second half extended the Bearkats lead to 51-30 with 11:37 left in the game. The Kats wouldn’t let ACU back in it.
Majauskas played a big role after Michael Holyfield and Terrance Motley both got into foul trouble. The freshman from Lithuania pulled down nine rebounds.
Peters led the way for the Kats in the first half with eight points after not scoring a first-half field goal Thursday against Incarnate Word. Majauskas scored six points, including the last five of the first period, and pulled down three rebounds.
Paul Baxter scored seven points and dished out seven assists. 11 different Bearkats made a field goal and the team shot nearly 50% from the floor for the game. The Kats led by as many as 24 points.
“I challenged our guys after the Incarnate Word game. If we want to get to our goal we have to get better defensively. Scoring hasn’t been a problem of ours and every guy on the team scored today. We’ve just got to get better defensively and strive for our goal,” Hooten added.
Sam Houston returns to Johnson Coliseum to host A&M-Corpus Christi Thursday at 5:30 p.m. The Kats will host Houston Baptist Saturday at 1:30 p.m.