HUNTSVILLE, Texas — Junior Zach Nutall reached a career milestone at the opportune time Saturday to lift Sam Houston State to an 87-80 victory over Houston Baptist at Johnson Coliseum.
Nutall hit a 3-pointer with less than four minutes to go in the game for his 1,000-career point that helped the Bearkats pull away from a close contest by going up 81-68 on the way to their eighth win in a row. SHSU improved to 5-0 in Southland Conference play and 11-5 overall on the season.
In a contest that went back and forth for most of the game, Nutall hit back-to-back 3s and junior Donte Powers hit a pair of free throws to ignite 12-0 run to put the Kats up for good at 71-60 with 7:43 to go in the game.
Nutall scored a game-high 33 points and grabbed nine rebounds, while senior Demarkus Lampley added 20 points. Powers and freshman Bryce Monroe each add nine points for the Bearkats, who shot 48 percent from the field and 46 percent from behind the arc.
The first half set the tone for the game of runs and lead changes.
The Bearkats jumped out to a 17-6 lead after trailing 6-3. Junior Javion May got the spark started with a layup, then Lampley, Monroe, Nutall and junior Manny Crump all scored to put SHSU up 11.
The Huskies (2-10, 1-3) answered with a big run of their own. HBU outscored the Kats 25-7 over the next few minutes to go up 31-24.
Sam Houston got a jolt from Nutall, who scored five straight points, to go on an 11-0 run to retake the lead at 33-31 with five minutes to left in the first period. Both teams traded baskets the rest of the way to send the game into the break tied at 39.