|Photo by Darla S Tamulitis|
La Vita Loca Photography
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Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications
KATY, TEXAS (March 9, 2017) The No. 4 Houston Baptist University Huskies saw their nine-game winning streak come to an end as they fell to the No. 5 Sam HoustonState University Bearkats in the third game of the 2017 Southland Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament on Thursday, March 9, 2017. The crowd at the Leonard E. Merrell Center in Katy, Texas saw both team struggle in shooting, with the Bearkats coming out on top at the end of the game. HBU shot 38% from the field, with Sam Houston one percentage point back (38%). The Huskies could not find the form they had during the latter part of the regular season, where they downed the Bearkats 88-77 at home on February 16. Earlier they also downed they Southland Conference rival 79-65 on December 29, 2016 in Huntsville.
With the win, Sam Houston will face the top seeded New Orleans Privateers on Friday, March 10 with a 5 p.m. CST tipoff. The Privateers come into the tournament with a 13-5 conference record. The Bearkats and New Orleans played once during the regular season, which resulted in a 70-68 win by Sam Houston.
The Huskies had two players in double figures; Josh Ibarra (16) and Reveal Chukwujekwu (14), with Ibarra pulling down nine rebounds, eight of them on the defensive end of the court. The Bearkats were led by Chris Galbreath, Jr. with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Fellow starters John Dewey III and Dakarai Henderson added 14 and 12 points, respectively.
The Bearkats held an 11-point lead halfway through the first half, but the Huskies came roaring back to cut their lead to two at the half (28-26). The score was tied at 30 at the 17:41 mark in the second half, with Sam Houston going on to build a 12-point lead in just under five minutes. HBU cut the bearcat lead to one with 2:29 remaining in the game on a three-point jumper by Asa Cantwell. The Huskies attempted to battle back late in the game, but to no avail.
With a 17-13 record, the Huskies will be sitting on needles the remainder of the weekend to see if they garner an invitation to a potential post-season tournament.