HUNTSVILLE, WALKER COUNTY Winners of six of their last eight games, the Sam Houston men’s basketball team looks to keep things rolling as the Bearkats begin a two-week, four-game road swing Thursday night against Southeastern Louisiana in Hammond.
The Kats stand 3-1 two weeks into the Southland schedule, placing the SHSU men in a four-way tie for second place in the young race.
Defending regular season champion Stephen F. Austin leads the league with a perfect 4-0 mark. Also 3-1 with the Kats are Nicholls, McNeese and A&M-Corpus Christi.
McNeese and Nicholls each came into Huntsville last week unbeaten in league play and left town with their first Southland losses.
Sam Houston stands 11-5 for the year. Included in the six victories since mid-December are wins over three times that earned berths in the 2013 NCAA Tournament (James Madison, Towson and Northwestern State).
Thursday’s game will start at approximately 7:30 p.m. in Hammond, La., following the Bearkat women’s game with the Lions at 4:30 p.m.
Both games can be heard in the Huntsville area with the men’s broadcast found on KSAM 101.7 FM and streamed on www.gobearkats.com.
Southeastern (7-8, 2-2 Southland), which is riding a two-game win streak, is coming off a thrilling, 85-77 Southland victory over Abilene Christian in double overtime this past Saturday. It was the Lions' first overtime contest in almost two years, dating back to a 75-71 overtime win against Central Arkansas at the University Center, Jan. 25, 2012.
Antonnio Benton turned in a career day, scoring 27 points and hauling in 10 rebounds. JaMichael Hawkins, one of four Southeastern players to score in double figures, dropped in 20 points.
Benton (6.9 rebounds) and Hawkins lead the Lions in scoring, averaging 12.7 points apiece. Benton, who also leads the team on the boards, is tied for fifth in the conference in rebounding. As a team, the Lions are averaging 70 points, on 42.7-percent shooting, and 34.4 rebounds. Opponents are averaging 73.1 points, making Southeastern's scoring margin eighth-best in the conference.
Sam Houston is led by Jabari Peters (13.6 ppg), Kaheem Ransom (11.1 ppg) and Paul Baxter (10.1 ppg). Michael Holyfield (5.6 rpg) is the team's top rebounder. Averaging 79.4 points, Sam Houston is third-highest scoring team in the conference.
Following the game at Hammond, Sam Houston will travel to New Orleans Saturday, Incarnate Word Thursday, Jan. 23, and Abilene Christian Saturday, Jan. 25.
Sam Houston’s next home game is Thursday, Jan. 30, against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.