Majauskas, Bearkats Power Past Islanders 76-62 for Sixth Straight Win

The Sam Houston State Bearkats defeated the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders 76-62 Saturday night for their sixth straight victory. This was the first matchup between the two teams since the Islanders eliminated the Bearkats in the SLC tournament semi-finals last March.

The Bearkats started the game off with the hot hand as they made their first five three point attempts to get out to an early 18-9 lead. Sophomore guard John Dewey III got the scoring started for the Bearkats with back-to-back three pointers to open the game. Once the Bearkats got their outside game going, the paint opened up, and junior forward Chris Galbreath Jr. took full advantage scoring six points immediately after entering the game off the bench.

Galbreath’s inside scoring was just an appetizer, for the entrée, which came in the form of senior post Aurimas Majauskas. Majauskas was a force inside all night long, as he led the Kats in scoring with 21 points (8-11 FG) and eight rebounds.

“Coach just said be aggressive in the post,” Majauskas said. “He told me to try and score everything you know and make the other team double (team) me.”

The Islanders, who were without their star forward senior Rashawn Thomas due to an indefinite suspension, started the game out sluggish, but made things very uncomfortable for the Bearkats in the second half. The Bearkats increased their lead to as much as 23 points before the Islanders went on a run with 15:01 left in the game. The Islanders trimmed the lead all the way down to 11 at one point with eight minutes remaining.

The Islander’s constant pressure on defense forced the Bearkats into committing turnovers, giving the Islanders easy baskets and taking themselves out of rhythm.

“I was disappointed in our turnovers tonight,” head coach Jason Hooten said. “I don’t think we necessarily took great care of the ball… We’re averaging right around 13.5 turnovers per game, and that’s unacceptable, we have to get that down.”

Eventually, the Kats managed to retake control of the game. Led by Majauskas, the Bearkats were able to generate some offense late in the game to hold on and win.

SHSU’s shooting touch Saturday night was well above average. The Kats finished the game shooting 56.5 percent from the field (26-46 FG) and 46.2 percent from three-point range (6-13 3FG). Dewey led the way behind the arc, making two of his three attempts, adding 19 points and a game-high five assists. Senior guard Dakarai Henderson contributed with 10 points.

Saturday night’s victory was the Bearkats’ sixth in a row for as the team moved their overall record to 15-6 and their record in SLC play to 6-2. Up next, SHSU will continue its home stand and host the Southeastern Louisiana Lions on Jan 28.

Tipoff is set for at 6:15 p.m. CT at Johnson Coliseum.

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