Sam Houston State was a buzzer beater away from defeating University of Nevada – Las Vegas at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas on Sunday.
The Kats fell 59-57 in their second game following a blowout against Austin College in their season opener on Friday.
SHSU was the prevailing team when the first half ended, but the Rebels clawed their way back in the second half and barely edged past the Bearkats.
“The game did not go to well,” head coach Jason Hooten. “We did not win and there is a lot we can improve on.”
Both the Rebels and the Bearkats had off-shooting performances. SHSU did not have an offensive showing like they did last Friday against the Kangaroos, shooting just 30.4 percent from the field and 25 percent from three-point range on Sunday. Senior guard Kaheem Ransom led the way in scoring with 13 points while shooting 4-13 from the field. Ransom and junior guard Paul Baxter led the way in assists with four a piece.
Junior forward Marcus Burwell dominated on the defensive end for the Bearkats. He totaled 10 rebounds while also swatting three shots. Senior center Michael Holyfield also totaled double digit rebounds and had one block. The Bearkats as a team only had three steals the entire game.
The Kats’ downfall was behind the arc where they only shot 25 percent. The Kats attempted a total of 36 three pointers and made only nine of them. The Bearkats also saw less production from their reserve players.
Last Friday against Austin College, the Bearkat bench combined for a total of 59 points out of the 100 total points scored. However, the SHSU bench only scored 18 points out of the 57 scored against UNLV. The Bearkats also turned the ball over 15 times and had 23 personal fouls compared to UNLV’s 10 turnovers and 11 personal fouls.
“One positive from the game is that we found out we could still be in close games while shooting poorly,” Hooten said. “As for the fouls, going on the road you have to expect not to get a friendly whistle. I am just proud of how the guys kept their composure.”
The Kats will next take on the South Dakota Coyotes in Bridgepoint, Conn. on Friday at 8:30 p.m for their second game in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic tournament.