By: ULM Athletics
MONROE, La. – Sam Houston’s Cameron Huefner scored 18 points, knocking down 4-of-5 3-point field-goal attempts, while three other Bearkats joined him in double figures as SHSU pulled away from ULM in the second half, 79-53, Wednesday night at Fant-Ewing Coliseum.
“They physically dominated us in the second half on the defensive end and the offensive end,” ULM head coach Keith Richard said. “It wore on us and we weren’t able to respond. I told the guys over the last two days, you got to keep holding on and keep grinding with them. It’s going to be physical. It’s not going to feel good all the time, but you need to do it for 40 minutes. You can’t do it for 25, or whatever we did it for. It’s got to be 40 minutes to beat a good team like that.”
In a physical, but sloppy, game early, Sam Houston broke through to build a lead thanks to Huefner. With SHSU leading 10-6, Huefner scored the Bearkats’ next 11 points, hitting three 3-pointers with a dunk in the middle, to go on a personal 11-3 run and extend Sam Houston’s lead to 21-9 with 7:47 to go before halftime.
ULM slowly chipped away down the stretch of the half. Free throws by Langston Powell and Savion Gallion, with a jumper by Jacob Wilson in between, brought ULM back within six, 23-17, at the 4:42 mark. SHSU pushed the lead back to 10, but the Warhawks had another spurt right before halftime. Powell sunk back-to-back 3-pointers in the right corner while forcing a missed shot on the defensive end in between the treys to cut the gap to three, 29-26, with 28 seconds to go before halftime.
ULM’s Thomas Howell blocked a dunk attempt by Tristan Ikpe on the final possession of the half, but the altered shot came back to Ikpe on the right block for a layup and the 31-26 halftime lead for SHSU.
The Warhawks pulled within four on a free throw by Tyreke Locure to open the half, but SHSU started to pull away. A quick 7-0 run, with five points from Huefner, put the Bearkats back ahead by 11, 38-27. ULM answered back with a quick six points on a free throw by Gallion and five straight points by Locure to get within five, 38-33, with 15:08 remaining.
That’s when the Bearkats hit overdrive, going on a 20-2 run where SHSU hit nine consecutive shots from the field. Lamar Wilkerson scored eight of the final 10 points of the stretch, including a long two-point shot with his foot on the 3-point line, to extend SHSU’s lead to 58-35 with 9:32 to play. ULM got no closer than 19 points the rest of the way.
In addition to Huefner’s 18 points, Donte Powers had 12 points and Jaden Ray and Lamar Wilkerson had 11 points apiece for SHSU. Locure led ULM with 14 points while Powell added 10.
Sam Houston dominated the rebounding battle, 41-19, including 16 offensive rebounds.
The Bearkats shot 50% from the field (30-of-60) and 3-point range (12-of-24), while going 7-of-12 (58.3%) from the free throw line. ULM shot 40% (17-of-43) from the floor and 36% (5-14) from 3-point range while hitting 64% (14-of-22) from the free-throw line.
ULM continues a three-game homestand at 2 p.m. Saturday against Lamar.