HUNTSVILLE, Texas — MEN:
The Bearkats hit a rough patch late in the second half to fall to Stephen F. Austin State 81-76 at Johnson Coliseum Saturday evening.
Senior Kai Mitchell led Sam Houston State (15-7 overall, 8-3 in the Southland) with 15 points, while junior RJ Smith, senior Chad Bowie, sophomore Zach Nutall and senior Dainan Swoope all scored 11.
The Bearkats broke a halftime tie when Nutall opened the second period with a 3-pointer to make it 39-36. SHSU stayed in front most of the second half until three costly turnovers changed the tide of the game.
SFA (19-3, 10-1) used those mishaps to go on a 12-2 run to go up 70-63 with two and a half minutes to go in the game. The Bearkats were forced to start fouling and the Lumberjacks hit their shots at the line.
SFA shot close to four times as many free throws than Sam Houston State, going 26 of 33.
The Bearkats led for most of the first half. They grabbed their biggest advantage at 23-13 thanks to a 3-pointer by Smith and a short jumper by Mitchell midway through the period.
Sam Houston State shot 50 percent from the field in the first half but was plagued by foul trouble. SFA was 11 for 16 from the free-throw line with three times as many attempts as the Bearkats.
Sam Houston State hits the road for the next three games, beginning with Incarnate Word in San Antonio Wednesday.
A slow start could not derail the Sam Houston State women's basketball team Saturday afternoon at Johnson Coliseum.
The Bearkats overcame a double-digit deficit to knock off first-place Stephen F. Austin 63-55. Sam Houston State (14-6) moved into a three-way tie atop the Southland Conference standings at 9-2 with the Lady Jacks (16-4) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Faith Cook led SHSU with 16 points and was 3 for 5 from long range. Kaylee Jefferson chipped in nine points, Jennifer Oramas had eight and Jaylonn Walker scored seven.
La'Sha Haynes pulled down a career-high 14 rebounds.
The Bearkats led by as many as 17 points at 45-28 on a layup by Kiera McKinney with 3:40 to go in the third quarter.
Sam Houston State shot 42 percent from the floor, and a blistering 55 percent (6 for 11) from 3-point range. The Kats also won the rebounding battle 35-30 and forced 24 turnovers.
The Bearkats found themselves in an early hole. The Lady Jacks jumped out to an 11-0 lead in the first four minutes.
Sam Houston State righted the ship and closed the opening quarter in an 8-2 run capped by a second-chance basket by Jefferson to pull within 13-8.
The second quarter was all Bearkats. They shot 50 percent from the floor and were 3 for 4 from behind the arc, including a 3 by Cook in the final minute to send SHSU into the break up 30-26.