SAN ANTONIO – The Sam Houston State Bearkats got 16 points from Torry Butler, but were otherwise marred by cold shooting on Saturday afternoon in a 69-53 loss to UIW at the McDermott Convocation Center.
The Bearkats (18-10, 9-6 SLC) hit just 28 percent from the floor in the first half and 33.3 percent for the game in what was its lowest scoring output since the start of Southland Conference play.
Meanwhile, UIW (11-15, 6-9 SLC) snapped a five-game losing streak with the win, allowing its least amount of points to an opponent this season. Four Cardinals finished in double figures, led by Tyler Singleton’s 16 points. Shawn Johnson also added 15 points and 13 rebounds for UIW.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Twelve turnovers haunted the Bearkats throughout the first half as Sam Houston trailed 37-20 at the midway point. Butler hit all four of his shots from the field and a pair of foul shots half of Sam Houston’s point total, but the rest of the squad hit just 3-for-21 from the floor.
Meanwhile, UIW came out firing and connected on six 3-point field goals and hit 54.5 percent from the floor in the half. Scores from Butler and Christopher Galbreath Jr. had the Kats up 5-4 early, but threes from Jalin Hart and Tyler Singleton bookended an 8-0 Cardinal run that followed.
A long ball from Simi Socks gave UIW its first double-digit lead at 23-13 with 10:06 to play and the Kats were not able to get any closer than 10 before the halftime buzzer after a bucket from Paul Baxter and a foul shot from Jovante’ Spivey made it 28-18. But the Cardinals scored the next nine points, capping the run with Singleton’s second triple of the game.
The teams traded buckets in the early minutes of the second half before a 7-2 Bearkat run got them as close as 13 on consecutive scores from Galbreath and Albert Almanza. But UIW’s Shawn Johnson scored six of the Cardinals’ next 10 points in a 10-2 run of their own, pushing the lead to as much as 21 on a three from Jorden Kite with 10:41 to play.
Sam Houston got its first three to go in at the 9:17 mark of the second half from Josh Delaney and two foul shots from Galbreath made it a 54-39 lead with less than 7:30 to play, but that was as close as it would get as Sam Burmeister answered with a three on the other end to extend the Cardinal lead back to 18.
The Bearkats turned it over just five times in the second half, but 12 of those came in the opening half as UIW built a 17-point lead at the break. But Sam Houston also struggled from the 3-point arc, hitting a season-low two triples while the Cardinals hit 10 from beyond the arc.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Butler hit seven of his eight shots from the floor and scored 16 points, just one shy of his of his career high, with four rebounds in just 14 minutes of work. Galbreath added 10 points and six boards, while John Dewey had four assists and five rebounds.
Sam Houston returns to Johnson Coliseum on Saturday, where they are 13-1 on the season, to face Abilene Christian. Tipoff is set for 6:15 p.m.