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LAFAYETTE, La. – Sam Houston State was unable to gain ground on Tuesday, finishing tied for seventh at the two-day 32nd Annual Louisiana Classics from the par-72, 6,898-yard Oakbourne Country Club.

The Bearkats shot a 54-hole score of 35-over, 899, after a third-round 313, to finish tied with Southern Miss and Texas State. Twenty-second ranked Kent State won the event, firing a 21-under, 843 to finish 19 strokes ahead of second-place Texas A&M.

Sam Houston’s Noah Steele registered his best finish in four tournaments, finishing tied for 17th at 6-over, 222. The freshman followed a pair of 70s on Monday with a final-round 82. LSU’s Sam Burns came back to surpass Kent State’s Ian Holt to win the individual title at 10-under, 206.

Jake McCrory (72-73-79) took 24th, his third top-25 finish this season, at 8-over, 224 while teammate Jesse Massengale (77-76-76) vaulted seven spots up the leaderboard to finish tied for 47th at 13-over, 229.

Andrew Ertel (76-77-77) fell back one spot on the final day, taking a tie for 51st along with teammate William Holcomb (73-76-81) at 14-over, 230.

Sam Houston went 34-over as a team on the course’s par-4s, ranking fifth, but finished at 5-over on the par-5s, ranking 12th out of 15 teams. Steele recorded a team-best 10 birdies, followed by McCrory’s nine.

The Bearkats return to action March 10-11 at the 54-hole Border Olympics from the par-72, 7,125-yard Laredo Country Club. A season ago, Sam Houston captured fourth at the event, carding a 7-under, 569. For the latest on the program, visit GoBearkats.com and follow @BearkatsMGolf on Twitter.

QUOTABLES:
Head coach Brandt Kieschnick on the outing…

“It was a good week. We backed up today which is not what we wanted. There are a lot of positives. The course played really tough and today played even tougher. The first day it blew about 20 miles per hour and today it blew 25-30. We made some mistakes on the greens. I am proud that we played with Illinois and got to see where we compare and where we have to get better. We played at a high level the first two rounds. We’ll take the positives and get better next week.”

Head coach Brandt Kieschnick on the performance of Noah Steele
“He played, as a true freshman, was right around the lead the first day. I have always thought he could play at that level. It gives him a lot of confidence. We got to play side-by-side with some of the top teams. He put himself in contention at a top-tier event.”

Head coach Brandt Kieschnick on the mindset moving forward…
“We need to focus on winning. We are good enough to win. We need to keep eliminating things that keep us from winning. I have now seen the level we can play at. We need to play cleaner. Our focus the last four events is to get in contention and do the things to win.”