Saturday, Jan. 13 • Huntsville, Texas • 6:15 p.m. CT • Bernard G. Johnson (6,100)
Sam Houston State (9-8, 3-1 Southland) vs Houston Baptist (4-13, 0-4 Southland)
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HUNTSVILLE – The Sam Houston State Bearkats will go after their fourth win in a row on Saturday when they host Houston Baptist at Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum.
The Bearkats have claimed wins in each of their last three outings after opening up Southland Conference play with a narrow loss at Abilene Christian. The current streak has been fueled by a resurgent offense that has eclipsed better than 80 points a game, including 82 in a 32-point win at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Wednesday night.
That win was the first win of 30 or more in SLC play for the Kats since a 2016 and pushed the Kats to 3-1 in SLC play, just a game back of first-place Southeastern Louisiana who stands at 4-0. The Kats averaged just 66.2 points per game during non-conference play, but are averaging 80.2 so far in the league with five players averaging in double figures.
Junior guard Marcus Harris has led that scoring charge, reaching double figures in each of the Kats’ three league wins, while John Dewey III has done a masterful job of orchestrating the offense. The Bearkat point guard is averaging 13.3 points per game against SLC foes, dishing out 21 assists with just five turnovers in that span.
Meanwhile, HBU is still in search of its first SLC win and will enter Saturday riding a 6-game losing streak overall; however, since an 18-point loss at Lamar to open up the league slate they have lost their last three by an average of just five points per game. That includes a one-point loss to Nicholls a week ago and a loss to Abilene Christian earlier this week that saw the Huskies leading by six in the second half before a late ACU comeback.
David Caraher and Ian DuBose lead the Husky scoring attack with 14.8 and 13.3 points per game, respectively, while point guard Braxton Bonds ranks fourth in the league with 4.8 assists per contest and is coming off a game that saw him score a career-high 19 points against ACU.
SERIES vs HOUSTON BAPTIST
Sam Houston leads the all-time series with HBU by a 16-10 margin, but the Huskies narrowed that gap by taking two of three meetings last year. The Huskies took both regular-season meetings in 2016-17 by double-digit margins before the Kats got their revenge with a 63-59 win in the quarterfinals of the SLC Tournament. The Kats are 6-4 vs HBU since the Huskies became Division I in 2012-13, but HBU has taken three of the last five games over the last two seasons.