The Mavericks (18-5, 10-0) stretched their school record winning streak to 14 games, the third longest in NCAA Division I. LaMarcus Reed added 18 points for UTA
Sam Houston (9-15, 3-7) was led by Marcus James with 24 points and a game-high 13 rebounds and Konner Tucker scored 17 points.
The were five early lead changes with the Bearkats going in front for the final time with 6:56 to play in the period as Marcus James hit a jumper to put SHSU up 19-17.
Karol Gruszecki hit a three-point field goal 22 seconds later to start a 20-7 run by the Mavericks to go up 11 points, 37-26 with 1:41 left. Konner Tucker's three-pointer cut the margin at intermission to 37-28.
Sam Houston came back strong early in the second period with a 12-1 run to cut the margin to two points, 40-38 on a jumper by Tucker at the 17:18 mark.
UTA responded with a 12-4 run to go up by 10, 52-42 on a jumper by Shaq White-Miller at the 12:32 mark. Sam Houston never got closer than seven points the rest of the way.
"UTA did a good job defensively. There's a reason they are 10-0," SHSU head coach Jason Hooten said. "I tell our guys that defense wins championships. Everyone talks about how well they are offensively, but they've got a really good defensive team as well."
The Mavericks shot 50.9 percent from the field (27-of-53) including 10 three-pointers. Sam Houston was 41.4 percent from the field, hitting 24-of-58. UTA scored 20 points off Sam Houston's 17 turnovers.
"Those guys don't need any help scoring," Hooten added. "I was pleased with our effort tonight. This game proved to our guys that we could play with the best in the league."
The Bearkats still are in the fight for a post-season playoff berth at the Southland Conference post-season tournament in Katy in March.
"The season is not over," James said. "It's starts at practice every day. The work you put in is going to be the work you get out."
Sam Houston travels to face Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on the road this Saturday.
Tickets for all Sam Houston State men's basketball home games are available on line now at www.gobearkats.com/tickets or at the SHSU athletic ticket office located in the Ron Mafrige Field House at Bowers Stadium
Ticket office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The ticket office telephone is (936) 294-1729.