Bearkats fall in quarterfinals to Cardinals

Photo courtesy of Leila De La Cruz

The Sam Houston men’s basketball team lost to the Lamar University Cardinals 70-69 Thursday at the Southland Conference quarterfinals.

This was the team’s first postseason appearance since losing to the University of New Orleans Privateers in 2019 as the number one seed. They did not play last season due to the tournament being canceled at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both teams battled it out fiercely during the first half of the game, leading to a 41-41 tie ballgame by halftime.

The Cardinals had an early surge during the second half, putting up 15 points on the board compared to the Bearkats seven points when a rally by the Bearkats led to a back-and-forth match between the two teams for the lead.

The Bearkats would go on two separate 14-2 runs during the game, one in each half, as they trailed for the majority of the game. They only had the lead for a short time in each half, only leading by as much as four points at any time in the game.

A final second free throw would seal the win for the Cardinals after a close play at the basket with junior forward Tristan Ikpe getting called for a foul with 1.4 seconds left in the game.

The Bearkats managed a 45% shooting average during the game. Junior guard Zach Nutall shot slightly above average, managing a 50% shooting average. Nutall was also responsible for putting up a game-high 30 points on the board, managing to put up more points than any other player on both teams.

With the win, Lamar will go on to face Abilene Christian University Friday at 8 p.m. The winner will face off against the winner between Nicholls State University and Northwestern State University in the Southland Championship Saturday at 8:30 p.m.

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