Kats fall in regular-season finale

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NACOGDOCHES — The Bearkats failed to score for a nine-minute stretch in the second half to fall to Stephen F. Austin 68-57 at William R. Johnson Coliseum in the Southland Conference regular-season final Saturday.

Sam Houston State (18-13 overall, 11-9 in SLC) will be the No. 4 seed in the Southland Conference Tournament and will have a first-round by next week in Katy after McNeese defeated Lamar 70-66 Saturday.

Senior Kai Mitchell led the Sam Houston State with 16 points. Senior Chad Bowie scored 11, and sophomore Zach Nutall finished with 10.

The Bearkats led 45-40 when senior Dainan Swoope hit a 3-pointer at the 13:55 mark of the second half. SHSU went on a scoring drought from there.

Stephen F. Austin, in the meantime, responded with an 18-0 run to pull away.

The Lumberjacks led by as many as six at 19-15 with nine minutes to go in the first half. The Bearkats cut to 23-22 with a steal and a layup from Bowie.

SFA pushed the lead back to six four minutes later, but again Sam Houston State responded. Bowie, Bryant, Nutall and junior Bubba Furlong all scored to lead the Kats on a 12-7 run to close the half down 35-34.