Provided by Sam Houston Athletics Department
The Sam Houston Bearkats showed out in front of a crowd of 3,686 as they defeated the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks 76-71 at Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum.
It was a close contest as the Bearkats (14-5, 4-3) found themselves down by five points at the end of the first half against the Lumberjacks (13-7, 5-2).
Sam Houston also lost junior guard Jaden Ray for the rest of the game after he went down with what appeared to be a serious knee injury.
Bearkat head coach Jason Hooten needed his guards to step up and that they did.
Hooten’s team took control for most of the second half and took down their Piney Woods rivals.
“I thought tonight we were very resilient we got down maybe eight or nine and we still kept fighting and fighting and then once we got the lead we never relinquished it,” Hooten said.
With his mom and brother in attendance, sophomore transfer forward Cameron Huefner led the team with 20 points and added four rebounds.
“His mom and brother are here from Australia we’re going to have to keep them here I think, he played great,” Hooten jokingly added on Huefner’s standout performance.
Senior transfer guard Qua Grant had 13 points, three assists and two steals.
He and his backcourt partner senior guard Donte Powers had to exchange roles being the point due to Ray going down.
It was all about adversity for Hooten.
“Adversity strikes all the time in life and it is how you handle it,” Hooten said.
Powers had nine points.
Junior transfer forward Kaosi Ezeagu was perfect all around as he got eight points, grabbed five rebounds and got two blocks.
The Bearkats outrebounded the Lumberjacks 34 to 23.
Sam Houston shot 52% from the field, arguably one of its best shooting performances of conference play.
Hooten and the players will be back inside the confines of Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum as they will face the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros on Saturday.
It will be on ESPN+ and radio broadcasted on 101.7 KSAM and 90.5 KSHU.
Tip-off is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. CT.