HUNTSVILLE – The Sam Houston State Bearkats exploded for 48 points in the second half and got a game-high 25 points from Christopher Galbreath Jr. for a 75-65 win over Southeastern Louisiana on Wednesday night at Johnson Coliseum.
The Bearkats (12-9, 6-2 SLC) have now won seven straight against the Lions (12-9, 6-2 SLC) and moved into a tie with the Lions just a game out of first place in the league standings.
Southeastern led by as much as 11 in the opening half, but the second half was a different story as the Kats took the lead early in the second half and never gave it up, shooting 54.3 percent in the final 20 minutes and leading by as much as 13 points to close it out.
Galbreath led the field with 25 points and 10 rebounds, netting his league-best ninth double-double of the season. The junior made the most of his 35 minutes, canning 11 of his 16 shots from the floor. He was joined in double figures by John Dewey III with 18 points, including 14 in the second half, and Marcus Harris’ 13 points and three rebounds.
The Kats held a small edge in the rebound battle and hit just four of its 18 tries from long range, but did not hurt themselves, turning the ball over just five times on the night and connecting on 13 of its 15 tries at the charity stripe.
Southeastern got most of its work from Moses Greenwood who poured in 12 of his 20 points in the second half, while point guard Marlain Veal added 10 points, nine assists and seven boards.
The Kats will go on a tough two game road series, starting with Piney Woods rival Stephen F. Austin Saturday night in Nacogdoches. The game is set to tip off at 6:00 p.m. from William R. Johnson Coliseum and will be aired on ESPN3.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN THE FIRST HALF
Southeastern Louisiana started out to a 23-12 lead in the first 10 minutes, holding the Bearkats to 38 percent from the court at the halfway mark. The Kats would battle back with a 7-0 run to bring them back to 25-23 with the help from Galbreath’s 13 points and six boards in the first half. The rest of the Bearkats combined for 14 points shooting 34 percent from the court.
Sam Houston came close to tying the game up before the half as they were down 30-27 with a minute left, but Veal would hustle down to get the missed three and find a tip-in to go into the locker room 32-27.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN THE SECOND HALF
The second half started off strong and kept on that way for the Kats with an 13-2 run in the opening minutes, getting the lead for the first time since the start of the game on a layup from Dewey with just under 16 minutes to play. A jumper from Galbreath and a 3-pointer from Harris would follow to give the Kats a 40-34 lead, but the Lions would answer, tying it back up and staying within striking distance until a 9-2 run that was capped by a 3-point play by Dewey with 5:25 to go that made it 60-53.
Southeastern would cut it back down to 62-59 before the Bearkats made one final push to put it away. A short-corner jumper was followed by Abrian Edwards’ only two field goals of the night, coming on back-to-back possessions in crunch time as part of an 8-0 run that stretched the lead to double figures for the first time.