Photo by Rw’anda Tu’a
Revenge is sweet as the Sam Houston Bearkats defeated the University of Texas-Arlington Mavericks in Huntsville, Texas, 66-56 Wednesday night.
The Bearkats (19-6, 9-4) last matchup against the Mavericks (9-17, 4-9) did not go their way as they fell to them back on Feb. 4 at Arlington, Texas, 70-58.
Since then the Bearkats had their eyes set on their next meeting which was just in 11 days at that time.
The Mavericks were coming into this game with a lot of what Bearkat head coach Jason Hooten called “desperation.”
“Everybody you play from now on is going to be desperate,” Hooten said in postgame with 101.7 KSAM.
UTA fired their second-year head coach Greg Young Saturday with six games left in the season.
Royce Johnson was named the interim head coach.
Johnson and the Mavericks do not want to play the first day of the Western Athletic Conference Tournament.
They were able to keep Sam Houston close for most of the ballgame in front of a highly energetic Bearkat crowd.
The Bearkats did end the first half with a 34-29 lead.
The Mavericks though came out of the second half swinging as they went on 11-2 run in the first seven minutes of the second half.
But it seemed that the momentum started coming back to the Bearkats whenever freshman guard Anthony Wrzeszcz came off the bench and made SportsCenter Top 10 plays with a poster dunk.
The Polish native was also a part of a bench that scored 25 points in which he scored five of those points.
The leading player off the bench for Sam Houston was senior forward Tristan Ikpe who scored 13 points.
“He played with confidence tonight, he did what a senior should do,” Hooten on Ikpe’s performance.
Sam Houston would take over despite some resistance from UTA and would eventually win the ball game.
The Bearkats, including Ikpe, had four players in double digits.
Sophomore transfer guard Cameron Huefner had 15 points led the team with 15 points.
Despite another poor shooting night, senior transfer guard Qua Grant still managed 10 points.
Perhaps the most impressive all-around performance was from senior guard Donte Powers who had 12 points, six assists and four rebounds.
He also added two steals.
The Bearkats will look to get win number 20 Saturday as they will go to Stephenville, Texas, to face the Tarleton Texans.
Tip-off is at 7:00 p.m. CT. You can catch it on ESPN+ or on 101.7 KSAM.