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Sam Houston remains undefeated, wins Fort Myers Tip-Off title

Sam Houston (6-0) conquered the Fort Myers Tip-off Palms Division with an 80-49 runaway victory over South Dakota.
Credit: Fort Myers-Tip Off

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Two games, two dominating performances.

Sam Houston (6-0) conquered the Fort Myers Tip-off Palms Division with an 80-49 runaway victory over South Dakota in the championship game on Wednesday at the Suncoast Credit Union Arena. The Bearkats won their two contests by an average of 32.5 points after knocking off Northern Illinois 88-54 on Tuesday to improve on the best start since the 2007-08 season.

Donte Powers was named the tournament's Most Valuable player after scoring 20 points in the championship game and sparking Sam Houston's offensive attack. He also had 13 points in the win over the Huskies.

Cameron Huefner scored a game-high 22 points to earn all-tournament team honors. Kian Scroggins added nine points and Jaden Ray chipped in seven as the team shot a red-hot 56 percent from the field and 58 percent from 3-point range by making 11 of 19 attempts.

The Bearkats led by 14 at the end of the first half and picked right up where they left off out of the break.

Powers had the hot hand and knocked down a 3 and scored on a layup to push the lead to 38-21. It was all Sam Houston after that.

Scroggins, Javion May, Damon Nicholas Jr. and Jaden Ray all scored to push the lead to 51-26. Huefner buried a couple of 3s and landed a hook shot to extend the advantage to 28.

That's the way it went the rest of the way as Sam Houston didn't miss many shots which made the start of the game and one six-minute stretch late in the half a distant memory.

The Bearkats fell behind by five early on with only two field goal attempts in the first three minutes of the game, but then the offense got rolling.

Down 7-2, Sam Houston went on a 15-2 run to as Powers started heating up. He scored two consecutive baskets to cut the lead to one and Huefner tied the game at 9 with a 3 following a South Dakota basket.

Kian Scroggins scored on back-to-back shots to put the Bearkats on top for the first time, then Huefner responded with four straight points to make it 17-9.

Sam Houston then hit a wall offensively. The Bearkats went six minutes without scoring as the

Coyotes respond with a 6-0 run to pull within two points.

Huefner finally ended the drought with 3:30 to go in the half. Powers then hit three 3s and Grant one down the stretch to send Sam Houston into the break on top 33-19.

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