NACOGDOCHES – The Sam Houston State Bearkats cut a once 20-point Stephen F. Austin lead down to just seven in the second half, but ultimately ran out of gas in front of a packed house at William R. Johnson Coliseum as the Lumberjacks pulled out a 82-66 win.
The Bearkats (12-10, 6-3 SLC) got a season-high 16 points from Jamal Williams and turned the ball over just 10 times against an SFA (17-4, 6-2 SLC) team that entered the night leading the nation, forcing nearly 22 turnovers per game.
But despite hitting 22 of 30 from the foul line, the Kats were just 4-for-19 from beyond the arc, including 0-for-6 in a first half that also saw the Lumberjacks can all six of their triples for the game. John Dewey III would add 12 points for Sam Houston, along with four steals, and both Marcus Harris and Christopher Galbreath Jr. would finish with 10.
For SFA, they would shoot 66.0 percent from the floor for the game and outrebounded the Kats 33-23, making up for 21 turnovers forced by the Kats. Shannon Bogues followed up his 31-point night at UCA on Wednesday with 29 points off the bench while Ty Charles finished with a season-high 20, including 14 in the first half to lead the Lumberjacks.
Sam Houston will head to Lake Charles, La., on Tuesday to take on McNeese. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. against the Cowboys and can be heard on KSHU 90.5 FM.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN THE FIRST HALF
The Lumberjacks could not miss in the opening half, shooting a scoring 64.3 percent from the field behind 15 from Bogues and 14 from Charles, who equaled his season high in just the first 20 minutes.
Early layups from Dewey and Galbreath got the Kats started off well and free throws gave them a 6-0 lead before SFA was able to get on the board.
But Bogues scored seven of SFA’s first nine points and had a pair of field goals in a 14-0 run that saw the Kats go more than 11 minutes without a field goal as the ‘Jacks built a 19-8 lead. From there SFA continued to add on with the Kats not getting another field goal until a jumper from Galbreath with just under nine minutes to play that made it a 22-12 SFA lead.
They did much of their work from beyond the arc, hitting six 3-pointers in the half, including two from Charles who had only made multiple 3-pointers in one of SFA’s first 20 games of the year entering Saturday.
The Kats kept it close with solid work at the foul line, hitting 16 of 22 tries at the line in the half despite hitting just six of its 20 shots from the floor. Twelve of the Kats’ final 14 points of the half came at the line as SFA led 46-28 at the break.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN THE SECOND HALF
Sam Houston took a dozen more shots than the ‘Jacks in the second half, but despite hitting 45.2 percent from the floor, were not as efficient as SFA who connected on 13 of its 19 tries.
Galbreath got off to a quick start in the second period, scoring six points before the first media timeout to help the Kats trim the lead to 51-35. SFA would push the lead back to 18 before a 13-2 Sam Houston run that included six points from Williams got the lead down to as much as 55-48 with just 11 minutes to play.
But SFA answered with buckets from Charles and Comeaux and after a second jumper from Charles went down to make it 61-50, the lead would never get back into single digits as the ‘Jacks would score 13 of the next 18 points to put it away.