Men’s basketball splits weekend series with Oral Roberts, Central Arkansas

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The Bearkat men’s basketball team remains stagnant at fifth place in the Southland Conference splitting their recent road stretch against Oral Roberts and Central Arkansas.

A second half comeback wasn’t enough for the Sam Houston State (7-6 SLC) squad to cap off a win against ORU (11-3 SLC), losing 74-64 Thursday. The Bearkats were, however, able to establish a strong presence inside the arc for an 80-75 win against UCA Saturday.

James Thomas conducted the SHSU offense, shooting double digits against Oral Roberts (11 pts.) and Central Arkansas (26 pts.) on the road. Accompanied by Terrance Motley, Thomas kindled a 20 minute run to outscore ORU 40-33 in the second half. The Golden Eagles hindered a Bearkat comeback coming off their 17 point lead from halftime and remained on cruise control.

Thomas, Motley and shooting guard Will Bond posted double digits in Thursdays matchup, shooting for a combined 48 percent from the floor and 50 percent from three point range.

“I was disappointed with our effort in the first half,” Hooten said to “But we came out strong in the second half and hit some shots and played defense.”

SHSU responded and outscored UCA 35-27 in the first half and was able to control composure in the remaining minutes of the second half to finish on top.

Thomas shot 41 percent from the floor and 66 percent from the free throw line for 26 points and nabbed 12 rebounds for a double-double against the Bears.

James Thomas is a hard worker with a big heart and a motor that never stops,” head coach Jason Hooten said.

UCA rallied in the second half to narrow SHSU’s lead to five, but was unable to stop Thomas and Bonds rhythm at the free throw line. They had a combined 12 points.

SHSU returns to Johnson Coliseum to face off against conference rival and Southland Conference leader Stephen F. Austin (12-2 SLC) Wednesday. Tipoff is set for 7:45 p.m.

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