HUNTSVILLE – Sam Houston erupted for eight second-half 3-pointers to soil the Texans’ bid for a season sweep of the Bearkats on Thursday inside Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum.
The Bearkats closed the Western Athletic Conference Affair on a 12-0 run behind four long balls to defeat Tarleton 69-50.
Sam Houston shot 62 percent from the field in the second half behind an 8-15 mark from downtown. The Bearkats outscored Tarleton 24-7 over the final 11:43 of the ballgame.
Savion Flagg and Demarcus Lampley were responsible for six of Sam Houston’s strikes from long range. Flagg posted a double-double behind a game-high 18 points and 11-rebounds while Lampley finished with 11 points.
Six players connected at least once from behind the arc for Sam Houston.
The Bearkats out-rebounded Tarleton 15-6 in the second half to finish with a 32-21 advantage on the glass.
Freddy Hicks scored 10 of his team-high 13 points out of halftime and went 5-8 from the field to lead Tarleton at the offensive end. Noah McDavid nearly joined Hicks in double figures as he tallied nine points behind a 3-6 clip from downtown. Montre Gipson led all players with seven assists and three steals.
The Texans never led in the contest but stayed within striking distance of the hosts prior to Sam Houston’s second-half surge.
Tarleton tied Sam Houston 3-3 to begin the game. The teams later alternated 6-0 scoring runs to the tune of a 13-11 Sam Houston edge with under 10:00 remaining in the first half. Javontae Hopkins sandwiched six points around four rebounds in the middle portion of the frame to keep the affair a two-possession game at 24-18 with 2:59 to go in the half. McDavid and Hicks knocked down consecutive 3-pointers to close the half and make the score 29-24 entering the intermission.
Tarleton trimmed a 35-24 deficit down to two points at 45-43 with 11:43 remaining. Six points from Gipson fueled an 8-0 run that got the Texans within three points of the Bearkats at 35-32. Small and Freddy then drained back-to-back bombs from behind the arc. Hicks followed with an and-one finish after securing a loose ball to ignite a fast break.
Sam Houston then countered with a 7-0 run over the ensuing two minutes to regain its multi-possession lead. Tarleton never crept closer than six points the rest of the way.
Tarleton now sits at 14-16 overall and 9-8 in conference play ahead of its regular season finale at Abilene Christian (19-9, 10-7 WAC) on Saturday.
Sam Houston (18-13, 13-5 WAC) guaranteed itself a top-five seed in the WAC Basketball Tournament, which runs from March 9-13 in Las Vegas.
Tipoff for Saturday’s contest between the Texans and Wildcats is set for 6 p.m. inside the Teague Special Events Center.