Coach Hooten Postgame Presser
ANCHORAGE, AK. – The Sam Houston State Bearkats got 14 points from Jamal Williams and John Dewey III tied a career high with 10 assists, but the Central Michigan Chippewas hit 11 threes and nearly 90 percent from the foul line to take a 71-60 win on Wednesday night at the Alaska Airlines Center in the opener of the GCI Great Alaska Shootout.
The Kats (2-2) turned the ball over just three times and out-rebounded CMU (3-1) in the second half, but could not overcome a 12-point halftime deficit. Central Michigan got a game-high 20 points from Shawn Roundtree and 16 more from Cecil Williams in the win.
They will move on to the semifinals of the Great Alaska Shootout, while the Bearkats will turn around and play on Thursday on the consolation side of the bracket against College of Charleston. The Cougars dropped the opening game of the tournament, 72-63, to Cal Poly. Tipoff against Charleston is set for 8:30 p.m. CT.
Williams was one of three Bearkats in double figures on the night with his 14 points, leading Sam Houston with eight rebounds as well. He was joined by Christopher Galbreath Jr. with 12 points and Albert Almanza with 10 and three offensive rebounds. Dewey hit a pair of threes and had eight points along with his 10 assists, which matched his career high set last year.
Three players made multiple shots from long range, but in all it was a cold shooting night from distance as Sam Houston hit just seven of its 30 3-point tries. Meanwhile, CMU hit 11 triples for the game and was 16-for-18 at the charity stripe along with winning the rebound battle in a game that never saw them trail.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN THE FIRST HALF
The Chippewas made seven of their 11 threes in the opening half with six different players making at least one triple to go into the locker room up 42-30. On the other side, Sam Houston missed each of its first seven threes before making four of its final six to stay within arm’s length.
But CMU held a decided advantage on the boards (21-12) and hit nine of 10 foul shots to build its 12-point lead. They only made two field goal in the final 5:16, but made five shots from the foul line, negating threes from both Almanza and Harris after the Kats found their long-distance range late in the half.
Galbreath scored six of Sam Houston’s eight points during an early stretch that kept the lead at single digits for CMU midway through the period. Harris then got the Kats going from three when he drained one from the left corner on a find from Dewey that cut the lead to 28-19 with 6:26 to play. His second longball just minutes later had the lead down to as little as eight, but Josh Kozinski and Roundtree carried a 9-2 CMU run over the next two and a half minutes toward the end of the half.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN THE SECOND HALF
CMU’s Williams scored the first five points of the second half and the Chippewas built their lead to as much as 17 on consecutive threes from David DiLeo less than seven minutes in. The Kats would hit just three of their 16 tries from three in the seond half, but never got any closer than the 11-point margin on a three from Dewey just before the final buzzer.
Almanza’s second three of the game got them as close as 13, but each time the Kats would make a run, the Chippewas seemed to have an answer, despite shooting less than 40 percent for the half. Sam Houston tried to make one final push late in the half when Williams and Galbreath scored consecutive buckets to get the score back to 67-55, but CMU answered with four straight points of their own to keep the Kats at bay.