BATON ROUGE, La. – The Sam Houston State Bearkats got off to a hot start, but the LSU Tigers responded and followed with a strong second half to pick up an 80-58 win on Tuesday night at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
Abrian Edwards turned in easily his best game as a Bearkat with 22 points and eight rebounds, including 12 points in the first half, to lead the Bearkats (6-6); however, LSU (7-3) went on a 24-4 run to open the second half and never looked back behind five players in double figures.
Christopher Galbreath Jr. turned in his fourth double-double of the year for Sam Houston with 13 points and a career-high 14 rebounds.
But after running out to a 17-9 lead to open the game, the Bearkat offense went cold to the tune of just 35 percent from the floor and three of 24 from 3-point range. On the other side, the Tigers responded from their slow start to hit nine triples, including five in the second half.
Randy Onwuasor led the Tigers with 13 points, all coming in the second half, while Daryl Edwards and Duop Reath each had 11 points.
Sam Houston will return home to close out its non-conference slate when it hosts Utah Valley on Friday. Tipoff is set for noon from Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN THE FIRST HALF
Edwards hit each of his first five shots from the field on his way to a dozen first-half points, helping the Bearkats on an 11-0 run that gave them as much as an eight-point lead at 17-9 less than six minutes into the game.
Sam Houston would hold that lead for nearly eight minutes until a layup from LSU’s Skylar Mays put the Tigers back in front 22-21. LSU would then take advantage of cold Sam Houston shooting, running out to a 38-29 lead on with a 9-2 run of its own to close the half.
Galbreath had his fourth double-double of the year by halftime, turning in 10 points and 11 boards in the first period, but the Kats hit just three of their final 14 shots to close the opening 20 minutes and were just 1-for-13 from distance with the lone make coming from Dewey early in the half.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN THE SECOND HALF
Sam Houston turned it over on each of its first three possessions of the half and LSU continued to take advantage, starting the second period on a 9-0 run in the first 2:30 to double its halftime lead.
The Kats would not get their first field goal of the half until a free throw-line jumper from Albert Almanza at the 14:05 mark, but they would not get another one until a 3-point shot for Cameron Delaney fell at the 10:43 mark.
But in the meantime, the Tigers got on a roll, scoring 24 of the half’s first 28 points and pushing the lead to 62-33 before Delaney’s trey. The lead would get as high as 30 for the Tigers when Edwards hit a three with just under eight minutes to play.
Head coach Jason Hooten's opening statement…
“Don’t know what to say. We weren’t very good. We ended up getting beat by 22, and I thought we played decent in the first half, maybe the first 10 or 15 minutes we played pretty well. I thought the last five to seven minutes of the first half we did not play good, and then we came out the first five minutes of the second half was the worst five minutes we’ve played all year long. I mean I know they played better, but it doesn’t have anything to do with our opponent. It had everything to do with us.”
Hooten on the first half performance compared to the second half…
“I’m just really disappointed. I mean obviously there is great concern. A team in our league just came in and beat them a couple days ago. I’m disappointed we were 3-of-24 from the three-point line and that has been an on-going thing all year long. We out rebounded them in the first half. We had less turnovers in the first half. We outscored them on turnovers in the first half, in the paint in the first half, and at the end of the game they lead us in all of those statistics. Obviously somewhere between halftime and going on the floor in the second half we didn’t do the job we needed to do.”
Hooten on Abrian Edwards…
Well it was great. We needed another scorer and I know he is more capable than what he has been doing, and I think the biggest thing was matchups. They had a big guy on him to start the game. They decided to start big and we played it into our hands the first 15 minutes of the half, and then they went to that zone. I thought we didn’t do a very good job of executing against it, which we haven’t done all year long. I think the biggest thing against a zone is you can do whatever you want, run whatever you want, but you gotta make threes. We can say what we want to say, but we went to Baylor and we outscored them in the paint. They ran a zone the whole game, but we were 5-of-30 from three. If you can make a few of those you can win. You can win a game like this if come in and make 10 or 12 threes like Stephen F. Austin did. They gave us some wide-open looks we just aren’t making them. I don’t know how to explain it any more than that.”