HUNTSVILLE, Texas -- Both the Sam Houston State men and women’s basketball teams face key home games this weekend beginning with a doubleheader Thursday against Northwestern State.
The Bearkat men, 17-6 overall and 9-2 in Southland play, stand in second place in the league race. Northwestern State comes into the 7:45 p.m. match-up as one of the league’s hottest teams.
Northwestern State (11-11 overall) has won six consecutive games to rally from a 1-4 league start to its current fourth-place position at 7-4. The Demons were the preseason favorite to win the 2014 championship, but fell to SHSU 107-104 in overtime in Natchitoches in both squad’s league opener.
Sam Houston has won eight of their last nine games and each of the last four. Jabari Peters continues to lead Sam Houston in scoring, averaging 13.0 points per game. Kaheem Ransom (11.6) is also scoring in double figures.
Michael Holyfield is the team’s top rebounder. He is averaging 6.4 rebounds to rank 10th in the Southland.
Sam Houston leads the league in 3-point field goal shooting (39.8) and ranks second in field goal percentage (47.2) and third in scoring margin (+8.0).
Brison West leads the Demons in scoring and with a 19.3 scoring average that ranks third in the league. Northwestern State’s top four scorers are ranked among the top 14 in the conference.
The Sam Houston women open Thursday’s doubleheader at 5:30 p.m. The Bearkats lost to Northwestern State in Louisiana 78-59 in the pair’s league opener in January.
The Kats have dropped to ninth place in the 2014 race after falling in three of their last four games. Only the top eight teams make the Southland Conference post-season event in Katy in March.
Four teams are bunched ahead of the Bearkats in the standings with only one more victory than Sam Houston, so wins in the women’s next two games could rearrange that order.
Angela Beadle (15.7 points, 10.4 rebounds per game) continues to lead Sam Houston. Jasmine Johnson (11.6) and Amanda Barnes (6.7) add scoring punch in the backcourt.
The women’s game will be broadcast live on KHVL 104.9 FM and the men’s game will be carried on KSAM 101.7 FM.
Sam Houston’s next doubleheader is Saturday against Stephen F. Austin with the women tipping at 1:30 p.m. and the men at 3:45 p.m.