HUNTSVILLE – Sam Houston State used a second-half run and four double-digit performances to pull away from a pesky UIW squad, 72-63 on Saturday night at Johnson Coliseum.
Chris Galbreath Jr. and Torry Butler each posted a double-double to lead the charge, marking the first time this season a pair of Bearkats reached the mark in the same game. Galbreath tallied 13 points and 10 rebounds while Butler posted 12 points and a career-high 15 boards in the win.
Josh Delaney proved effective again the zone, notching a season-high 14 points to spark the Sam Houston (18-8 overall, 9-4 Southland) offense. The Bearkats dominated underneath, outscoring UIW 25-0 on second-chance points while the Kats depth showed as the bench outscored the Cardinals 51-9.
Javonte' Spivey drained a pair of 3-pointers and contributed 12 points while John Dewey III added five assists. After UIW’s Jalin Hart registered 14 first-half points, the Kats held the guard to six the rest of the way and held the Cardinals (10-14, 5-8 SLC) to 29 percent shooting in the second half.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Sam Houston and UIW battled back-and-forth early on as Dakarai Henderson tied the game at 10-all with a jumper 15:33 in the opening quarter.
The Bearkats attempted to distance themselves, building up a six-point lead on a pair of 3-pointers from Josh Delaney and Spivey. The Kats would push the lead to as many as eight on another Delaney trey with 7:49 in the opening half but the Cardinals responded.
UIW went on a 10-2 run over the next three minutes to knot the game at 27-27. Delaney and Spivey again came up big from downtown, helping the Kats to a 3-point margin entering the half. The duo was responsible for all five first-half Bearkat 3-pointers.
Sam Houston scored seven of the first 10 points to open the second half to open up a 7-point advantage but UIW rallied with a run of its own. The Cardinals took a 48-47 lead with 13:33 on a pair of free throws as part of a 3-minute field goal drought for the Kats.
Down the stretch, however, Sam Houston found the cushion it needed. The Kats held the Cardinals without a bucket for 3:25 and used back-to-back buckets from Galbreath, highlighted by a three-point play, to build an 11-point edge with 3:11 left.
Head coach Jason Hooten on the contributions off the bench…
“I thought those guys deserved to be there late in the game and I felt comfortable with them. Obviously, with Dakarai (Henderson) and Paul (Baxter) sitting over there, you could have gone back with them but I’m a loyal guy. Those guys got us where we needed to be.”
Head coach Jason Hooten on the strong second-half defensive effort…
“I went in and challenged them at the half and obviously it worked. Jalin Hart had 14 points at halftime and I told them he was the best player in the gym. Until late, he had one field goal in the second half and I thought that was the big difference in the game.”