Kats play complete game, beat UTSA

Bearkat seniors Senecca Wall and Jeremy Burkhalter didnt want Mondays basketball game against UT-San Antonio to be their last in Johnson Coliseum. Thanks to a good performance by them both, it might not be.Wall scored a career-high 28 points and Burkhalter added 19 as Sam Houston State defeated the Roadrunners 87-77. The win improves the Bearkats to 11-8 in the Southland Conference and 15-11 overall and keeps their hopes alive to host a game in the first round of the conference tournament on March 6.With one game left, a matchup with Lamar on Saturday, the Bearkats are in fourth place in the conference, behind UT-Arlington and Nicholls State who are tied for second. McNeese State has already clinched first place. If Sam Houston beats Lamar, the Bearkats clinch a first round home game, which is awarded to the top four teams in the final standings. If they lose, they will need help to get the game in Huntsville. Me and Sen talked about that, a relieved Burkhalter said after the game. We wanted to play at least one more game here before the end of our career. Hopefully well get the win at Lamar and come back here for the tournament.Mondays game was made more important for Sam Houston, which lost 62-58 to Southwest Texas State on Saturday.Coach (Marlin) made a challenge to the guys… said Wall, who came out on fire, hitting six of his teams first 10 points. He said Go out and give it your all. If you cant play hard for yourself, play hard for the seniors.Things pretty much went back and forth in the first half. Despite being out-shot 47-42 percent from the field, the Bearkats took a 43-38 lead into intermission.The second half went much better for Sam Houston as it extended its lead to 14 at 61-47 with 14:59 left in the game. But unlike most of the Bearkats games this season, they were able to hold off the opponents and not let them make a late run.The closest the Roadrunners would come was 70-62 with a little over six minutes left.Weve been in so many close games this year, said Burkhalter, who also finished with nine rebounds and seven assists. Its always good to get a big lead at the end where you dont have to worry.It looked like in the first half UTSAs Devin Brown was going to make it a long night for the Bearkats. But despite scoring 13 points before intermission, the junior guard from San Antonio was only able to score two more the rest of the way. That along with poor free-throw shooting by the Roadrunners (59 percent) aided the Bearkats in their win.Demetrice Sims also provided a boost for Sam Houston, hitting four three-pointers for his 12 points. As a team, the Bearkats hit 8-of-26 from long range.In the first half, we shot 17 three-point shots, said Bearkat head coach Bob Marlin. We shot 17 in the first half and we shoot nine in the second half and Im thinking goodness gracious, its kind of a high number for us.We didnt shoot a good percentage, only 31 percent, but when you make a couple it sure loosens it up.In addition to Walls 28 points, the senior from Fort Worth recorded eight rebounds and five assists.I was just glad we played good against UTSA, Wall said. Because to me, theyre my rival. Theyre a good team and I like playing them, so I was glad we got a good win against them.Eddy Fobbs and Brian Jordy both contributed with six points apiece and both Jason Stephenson and Eddy Barlow finished with five. The win marked the first time since the Roadrunners joined the Southland Conference in 1992 that Sam Houston has swept the annual series between the two schools.In Saturdays loss to the Bobcats, Wall led the Bearkats with 19 points and Burkhalter added 17. A three-point shot was missed by Sims at the buzzer that would have sent the game into overtime.

Leave a Reply