LU falls to Sam Houston State
HUNTSVILLE – Sam Houston State opened the second half 12-of-14 from the field Saturday afternoon at Johnson Coliseum to propel the Bearkats to a dominating 78-40 victory over Lamar in Southland Conference men’s basketball action.
The Cardinals were already down 31-20 at the break before Sam Houston opened the second half on a 19-2 run to build a 50-22 lead that proved to be insurmountable. Lamar, which will have a week off before hosting McNeese State on Saturday, fell to 3-21 on the year and 1-11 in the Southland.
“That’s probably the worst second half we’ve played all year,” said LU head coach Pat Knight. “I thought in the first half, we played hard and competed but just couldn’t hit any shots. We just came out in the second half and had a lot of turnovers and it just went downhill from there.
“They jumped on us and we just didn’t fight back. We turned the ball over too much and started taking some quick shots. When you turn the ball over 20 times and only shoot 30 percent, you’re not going to win many games.”
LU committed 12 of its 20 turnovers in the second half and the Bearkats converted the Cards’ second half miscues into 20 points. Sam Houston (13-10 overall, 6-5 in the Southland) would shoot 65.5 percent from the floor over the final 20 minutes, including 7-of-11 aim from 3-point range.
Paul Baxter opened the second half with a trey just nine seconds in. Amos Wilson, who was one of two Cardinals to finish with 11 points, hit a layup nine seconds later but it would be Lamar’s last points until Hondo Webb made a pair of free throws with 13:48 showing on the clock.
The Bearkats’ lead ballooned to 40 points with five and a half minutes to play on an Aaron Harwell layup that made the score 73-33. Lamar would score seven of the final 12 points but it did not keep the Bearkats from handing the Cardinals their largest defeat in the 56-game series between the two schools.
Sam Houston finished the game shooting 54.2 percent from the floor and holding the Cardinals to 30.2 percent shooting. After seven first half turnovers, the Bearkats coughed it up just four times in the second half and finished with a 37-28 rebound advantage.
Webb came off the LU bench to score a career-high 11 points, adding six rebounds and three blocked shots. Senior forward Stan Brown, who scored 22 points at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Thursday, finished with eight points and a team-high nine rebounds.
Four Bearkats scored at least 10 points with junior guard Will Bond hitting four 3-pointers off the bench to lead the way with 12 points. Junior forward Nathaniel Mason went 5-of-6 from the floor and scored 11 points off the bench as Sam Houston got 43 points from its reserves.
Junior forward Terrance Motley scored 10 points and led all players with 11 rebounds for the double-double and Darius Gatson added 10 points and four of the Bearkats’ 12 steals.
Lamar never led in the game and the Bearkats’ lead reached 16 with three and a half to play before halftime as a Nathaniel Mason dunk made the score 30-14.
The Cardinals closed the half on a 6-1 run which included a half-court pass from Webb to Wilson for a layup at the buzzer.
Lamar will have a week off before hosting McNeese State next Saturday at 6:30 p.m. The Cardinals will be unveiling their 2012 Southland Conference Tournament championship banner and NCAA Tournament banner prior to tipoff.LU falls to Sam Houston State Wednesday, April 23 2014, 11:23 AM CDT