The Sam Houston State Bearkats look to end a two-game losing skid, as the team will face the Abilene Christian Wildcats on Saturday. In the first meeting between the two teams back on Feb. 4, ACU shot a stunning 61 percent from the field goal and came out on top with a 71-64 victory.
The Bearkats started the season strong, but have looked rough the past five games, winning just one of the past five contests. For senior guard Paul Baxter, he knows that his team can play better and that they must get back on track.
“We are trying to get back on the right foot,” Baxter said. “We haven’t been playing the way that we are capable of playing and we all know that. We are just trying to get back on track as a team.”
However, the Wildcats have had the opposite stretch. ACU has come out victorious in four of its past five games and they have showed no signs of slowing down. Sophomore guard Cameron Delaney said the Kats must execute their plays if they want to end their slump.
“We just need to execute the plays,” Delaney said. “We just need to execute what the coaches tell us to do, and if we do that, then we will come out with the win.”
Baxter in their last match up between ACU scored 13 points and while adding three steals on the defensive end for his team. Baxter knows that for his team to get the win, they must come out and play the way they know how to play and to keep them from scoring.
“We are going to try to come out and play the way we know how to play,” Baxter said. “We know what we are capable of and it starts from the defensive side. We need to keep that at a low field goal percentage and that will lead us to some fast break points for us.”
The Bearkats have been a defense-oriented team since the season began, and that mindset will carry into Saturday game. Delaney feels that his team’s defense is going to have to step up since the last time they played the Wildcats.
“The defense needs to step up from the last time we played each other,” Delaney said. “We need to rebound the ball and set up our offense with the easy points.”
The main player to watch out for on the Wildcats’ basketball team is freshman center Jalone Friday and sophomore Jaylen Franklin. Friday is scoring an average of 14.2 points per game and Franklin scored 12 points against the Bearkats in their last match up.
“All credit to them, but last time we played we weren’t playing to our fullest,” Baxter said. “ We as a team know that and will turn it around on Saturday.”
The Bearkats will host the Wildcats at Johnsons Coliseum on Saturday. Tip- off is set for 6:15 pm.