Bearkats let 1st half lead slip away in 80-58 loss to LSU

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BATON ROUGE, Louisiana -- The Sam Houston State Bearkats got off to a hot start, but the LSU Tigers responded and followed with a strong second half to pick up an 80-58 win on Tuesday night at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

Abrian Edwards turned in easily his best game as a Bearkat with 22 points and eight rebounds, including 12 points in the first half, to lead the Bearkats (6-6); however, LSU (7-3) went on a 24-4 run to open the second half and never looked back behind five players in double figures.

Christopher Galbreath Jr. turned in his fourth double-double of the year for Sam Houston with 13 points and a career-high 14 rebounds.

But after running out to a 17-9 lead to open the game, the Bearkat offense went cold to the tune of just 35 percent from the floor and three of 24 from 3-point range. On the other side, the Tigers responded from their slow start to hit nine triples, including five in the second half.

Randy Onwuasor led the Tigers with 13 points, all coming in the second half, while Daryl Edwards and Duop Reath each had 11 points.

Sam Houston will return home to close out its non-conference slate when it hosts Utah Valley on Friday. Tipoff is set for noon from Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum.

Edwards hit each of his first five shots from the field on his way to a dozen first-half points, helping the Bearkats on an 11-0 run that gave them as much as an eight-point lead at 17-9 less than six minutes into the game.

Sam Houston would hold that lead for nearly eight minutes until a layup from LSU’s Skylar Mays put the Tigers back in front 22-21. LSU would then take advantage of cold Sam Houston shooting, running out to a 38-29 lead on with a 9-2 run of its own to close the half.

Galbreath had his fourth double-double of the year by halftime, turning in 10 points and 11 boards in the first period, but the Kats hit just three of their final 14 shots to close the opening 20 minutes and were just 1-for-13 from distance with the lone make coming from Dewey early in the half.

Sam Houston turned it over on each of its first three possessions of the half and LSU continued to take advantage, starting the second period on a 9-0 run in the first 2:30 to double its halftime lead.

The Kats would not get their first field goal of the half until a free throw-line jumper from Albert Almanza at the 14:05 mark, but they would not get another one until a 3-point shot for Cameron Delaney fell at the 10:43 mark.

But in the meantime, the Tigers got on a roll, scoring 24 of the half’s first 28 points and pushing the lead to 62-33 before Delaney’s trey. The lead would get as high as 30 for the Tigers when Edwards hit a three with just under eight minutes to play.