|Kats advance to Southland finals with win over SLU|
KATY - For the second straight night, Lance Pevehouse came up with a big play and for the second straight night, the Sam Houston State Bearkats escaped the Merrell Center with a victory.
Pevehouse hit a 3-pointer with 1:13 left in the game to give the Bearkats a two-point lead and he hit a free throw in the closing seconds to give the Kats an 88-85 win to advance to the Southland Conference finals on Saturday.
"Every night I come off the bench and try to give our team a spark," Pevehouse said. "It just so happens the last two nights I have been able to make a play for my team in the last two minutes."
With three minutes left to play in the game, Jason Marks hit a pair of free throws to put the Lions up 83-78. After a couple of Josten Crow free throws, Mitchell made a steal at mid-court and a layup cut the lead to just one with less than two minutes to play.
After Pevehouse's 3 gave the Kats a lead, Patrick Sullivan hit a jumper for Southeastern to tie the game for the 12th time with 46 seconds left to play. The Kats didn't take a timeout after the basket and Josten Crow got free in the paint and hit the game-winner for the Bearkats with 11 seconds left in the game.
After a missed free throw from Pevehouse with six seconds to play, a desperation heave by Brandon Fortenberry fell short.
"That was March basketball for sure," SHSU head coach Bob Marlin said. "We got a couple crucial plays late. I am proud of our guys. We played hard and I am happy to get away with the victory."
It was another back-and-forth game that featured 12 ties and 17 lead changes.
The Kats had five players in double figures with Ashton Mitchell and Corey Allmond leading the way with 18 points. Gilberto Clavell had 16, Pevehouse scored 14 and Preston Brown scored 12.
"We just hung in there," Marlin said. "Everybody pitched in. We have a really good team and we played without some guys and everybody stepped up."
The Bearkats will now meet Stephen F. Austin in the Southland Conference Championship game. It will be the second time the two teams have met with an NCAA Tournament trip on the line. In 2003 SHSU knocked off the Lumberjacks in overtime to punch their ticket to the Dance.
SOUTHLAND TOURNAMENT TICKET INFORMATION
Seats in all other sections at the Merrell Center are on sale online now at www.southland.org or will be on sale at the gate at the Merrell Center in Katy.
Sam Houston State students will be admitted FREE on presentation of their BearkatOne Card id.
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