Wednesday, Jan. 24 • Huntsville, Texas • 6:30 p.m. CT • Johnson Coliseum (6,100)
Sam Houston State (11-9, 5-2 Southland) vs Southeastern Louisiana (12-8, 6-1 Southland)
Live Stats • ESPN3 • @BearkatsMBB on Twitter
HUNTSVILLE – The Sam Houston State Bearkats suffered their first defeat of the calendar year over the weekend, but will have a chance to pick up a win over one of the league leaders on Wednesday when they host Southeastern Louisiana at Johnson Coliseum.
The game can be watched online at ESPN3 or on the WatchESPN app with Randy McIlvoy on the call and Matt Pedersen providing color analysis. Live stats are available at GoBearkats.com and fans can also get updates as they happen by following @BearkatsMBB on Twitter.
The Kats had won five in a row overall and 12 straight January games dating back to last season entering Saturday at Lamar, but could not hold an 18-point lead as the Cardinals managed to pull out a comeback win in overtime for the second consecutive season in Beaumont.
Sam Houston only faced the Lions once last season and was able to hold on in a thriller for what was its seventh straight win of an eight-game win streak. The Bearkats led by as much as 16, but had to withstand a frantic comeback by Southeastern who was led by Davon Hayes’ 23 points and seven 3-point baskets.
This year the Lions come in with a 6-1 mark in the league play, tied with Nicholls atop the SLC standings. They opened up the league slate with four straight wins, including a victory over preseason league favorite Stephen F. Austin, before falling at home to McNeese on January 13. Since then they have rallied with double-digit wins over both Houston Baptist and Northwestern State.
Since league play began Southeastern has been one of the stingiest defensive teams in the SLC, allowing just 65.3 points per game. Jordan Capps’ 13.7 points and James Currington’s 5.8 rebounds lead the team, but it is all-SLC point guard Marlain Veal who runs the show for the Lions. He leads the league with 5.7 assists per game – just ahead of Sam Houston’s John Dewey III – and is second in the league with 2.2 steals per contest.
With Veal and Dewey, Wednesday’s game will pit two of the top point guards in the league against one another. Dewey is coming off a strong game against Lamar that saw him pump in 18 points and dish out seven assists. He currently ranks second in the league in both assists and free throw percentage (86.8 percent) and has handed out at least five dimes in each of his last five games.
Dewey was one of four Bearkats in double figures against the Cardinals in a game that saw them shoot a season-best 54 percent from the floor; however, they pulled in just 29 rebounds for the game after totaling 50 in its previous outing against Northwestern State with the difference being 19-2 in the Cardinals’ favor in second-chance points.
SERIES vs SOUTHEASTERN
The Kats own a commanding 27-15 lead in the all-time series with the Lions with much of the success coming in recent years. Since the 2005-06 season Sam Houston is 14-2 mark against Southeastern and are currently riding a 6-game win streak in the series. Southeastern last got a win over the Kats in the 2012-13 season, but have not won in Huntsville since a 61-58 win in 2007-08.