Johnson Coliseum played host to a Southland Conference matchup Thursday night as the Sam Houston State Bearkats defeated the Lamar Cardinals 87-65 to win their fifth straight game.
A second half surge from the Bearkats (14-6, 5-2 SLC) helped the team zip by the Cardinals (11-8, 3-3 SLC). After 20 minutes of action, SHSU found themselves up only one at the break. However, the team shot 68 percent from the field, including 7 of 10 from behind the arc and sealed the deal against Lamar.
“It was an interesting game,” head coach Jason Hooten said. “I thought the first half was a well played game by both teams. We came out in the second half and we just really got it going. We made some threes and John Dewey stepped up after the first half that Galbreath had, then Aurimas put us on his back, which he’s done all season”.
Junior forward Chris Galbreath Jr. was the impact player Thursday night. He finished with a game-high 20 points to go along with eight rebounds.
“I just wanted to play my game, get what the defense gives me,” Galbreath said. “My teammates saw that I was hot and started to feed me and I kept producing.”
The Bearkats finished the game with four players in double digits. Sophomore guard John Dewey III notched 14 points, while seniors guard Dakarai Henderson and center Aurimas Majauskas each added 13.
“We came out in the second half and we made some threes,” head coach Jason Hooten said. “John Dewey stepped up after the first half that Galbreath had, then Aurimas put us on his back, which he’s done all season”.
With a fast start in the second half, led by back-to-back baskets by Majauskas, the Bearkats went on a 13-0 run, pushing the lead to 54-40. The three-ball was the difference maker for the Kats in the second half. SHSU previously shot 1 of 10 from beyond the arc in the first half, but the team cleaned up their shooting to make 7 of 10 in the second half, finishing 8 of 20 for the game. The Bearkats shot 60 percent from the field.
All season long SHSU’s defense has been solid. They have held their opponents to a 41.7 percent shooting average and they kept with it Thursday night. The Kats held the Cardinals to 42.1 percent shooting from the field. SHSU also forced Lamar into committing 18 turnovers, with senior forward Torry Butler leading the charge with three steals.
SHSU will continue its four-game home stand on Saturday against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Tipoff is set for 6:15 p.m. CT.