The Sam Houston State University basketball teams had a productive weekend in front of their home crowd at Johnson Coliseum when they swept the visiting University of Central Arkansas.
The Bearkats outscored the Sugar Bears 25-6 in the fourth quarter Saturday on their way to a 73-58 victory. The late surge helped SHSU overcome an early deficit and improve to 12-3 against conference opponents.
After trailing 19-13, the Kats ended the first quarter with a 9-2 run capped off by a go-ahead three-pointer with 46 seconds on the clock from senior guard Rachel Harrell. UCA had a slight advantage in the second quarter, however, outscoring SHSU 17-14 as the Sugar Bears took a 38-36 lead into halftime.
The back-and-forth contest continued through the third quarter. UCA once again outscored the Bearkats and had a 52-48 lead heading into the final 10 minutes.
The fourth quarter started with a 5-0 run that put SHSU on top 53-52. After a lay-up by UCA, Jaylonn Walker hit a huge three-pointer that put the Kats on top 56-54, and they never looked back from there. Walker finished the day with 16 points and was a perfect 4-of-4 from behind the arc. SHSU ended the game on a 17-4 run to seal the deal and extend its winning streak to three games.
The Bearkats currently sit in second place in the Southland Conference half a game behind Stephen F. Austin University. The women have five regular season games left and are back in action Feb. 19 at Lamar at 7 p.m.
Following the women’s dominating victory, men’s basketball picked up a 15-point victory of its own beating UCA 82-67.
Senior forward Kai Mitchell had a huge night, posting 30 points in 27 minutes and grabbing eight rebounds.
With the game tied at 10 early in the first half, SHSU went on a 14-0 run that ultimately proved to be the difference in the contest. After buckets from three different Bearkats, sophomore guard Zach Nutall hit a three-pointer to push SHSU’s lead to 19-10 and spark a run of eight straight points all scored by Nutall. He finished with 21 points and added four rebounds and three steals to his totals.
The Bearkats maintained a consistent lead for the rest of the game to solidify their second straight victory.
SHSU is in fourth place in the SLC standings, trailing Abilene Christian University by half a game. The men play Lamar Feb. 19 at 6:30 p.m. at Johnson Coliseum in Huntsville.