HUNTSVILLE – The Sam Houston State Bearkats opened the 2019-2020 season in convincing fashion taking down Paul Quinn University 95-57, on Tuesday night at Johnson Coliseum.
The Bearkats (1-0) led by only three points at the end of the first half, but a strong offensive surge to open the second half against PQU (1-2) helped push the Kats to a double-digit victory.
Senior Kai Mitchell opened his senior season with 18 points and eight rebounds, leading in both categories for the Bearkats. Zach Nutall and Mark Tikhonenko also found themselves in double-digits in the scoring column with 15 and 14 points apiece, respectively.
Grad transfer Dainan Swoope made an impressive debut for the Bearkats going 4-for-5 from field goal range and two-for-three from beyond the arc.
The Sam Houston State defense held the Tigers to just 18 points in the second half out rebounded Paul Quinn 31-24 on the defensive boards.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Bearkats took some time to find their rhythm getting the ball in the hoop, shooting just 6-for-16 from the field to start the half
- Paul Quinn found the early lead, shooing fifty percent from the field and went 5-for-8 from the 3-point line, the Tigers led by seven at 12:48
- Sam Houston bench players made an early impact contributing nine of the first 17 points for the Kats
- Zach Nutall started what would be a 13-1 run by the Bearkats with an and one play coming out of a Bearkat timeout at 8:26
- Kai Mitchell and Nutall ended the half with 10 and 13 points respectively contributing over half of the team’s total points
- Bearkats came out of the half on an 8-0 run in just 1:50 to extend their lead to 11 points, each bucket coming from a different player
- The Bearkat defense held Paul Quinn scoreless until the 14:19 mark, ending a 19-0 run by the Kats to blow open the second half
- Paul Quinn’s two points of free throws by leading scorer Mateo Escheik did not shift the momentum and the Kats went on another run extending their lead to 75-41 just midway through the second half
- The second 14-0 spurt by the Kats was led by newcomer Dainan Swoope with two triples in a row
- Sam Houston outscored the Paul Quinn Tigers 53-18 in the second period of play