Sam Houston State put together their best performance Saturday night in Fort Collins, Colorado on the way to defeating the Colorado State Rams 92-81.
The first half was marred with many of the same struggles that the Bearkats have had for much of the early season. They turned the ball over 15 times and were shooting 25 percent from the three point line.
The second half was a much different story. The Bearkats outscored the Rams 60-43 in that second half, largely thanks to shooting 70.8 percent from the field and making five out of their eight three point attempts.
Maybe the biggest change at the half was that the Bearkats only turned the ball over five times in the second half. Good things tend to happen when your possessions end with a shot and not with a turnover.
The Bearkats shot 73.2 percent from the free throw line as a team, making the Rams pay for their foul trouble. If the Bearkats had shot free throws as poorly as they had for much of the early season, this is a much different result.
Prior to the game, Colorado State head coach Tim Miles mentioned that their biggest goal was to turn Gilberto Clavell into a passer rather than a scorer so that he couldn't get comfortable. Whether it was poor game planning or poor execution I'm not sure, but it didn't work. Clavell led all scorers with 29 points. He made ten of his 14 field goal attempts and was nine for 11 at the free throw line. He added nine rebounds, four of which were on the offensive end.
Clavell wasn't the only standout, however. Antuan Bootle added nine rebounds, with five of his being offensive boards. Josten Crow added 20 points including going three for three from beyond the arc.
Marcus Williams had his best game statistically as he had 17 points. He leaves something to be desired in his shooting percentage as he went three for seven, but he did get to the free throw line 14 times, making ten of them.
Lance Pevehouse rounded out a good night for the starting lineup by pouring in 14 points of his own. He only made three of his nine three point shots on the night, but he went three for six in the second half on his long range shots.
The Bearkat defense made life difficult for the Rams, particularly on the perimeter. Colorado State shot 23.1 percent from the three point line. The worst night went to Rams gunner Adam Nigon. He missed all six of his three point shots.
Not surprisingly, star forwards Travis Franklin and Andy Ogide led the way for the Rams. Franklin had 22 and Ogide scored 20, both on nine of 12 shooting.
Guard Jesse Carr added 18 for the Rams.
In his pregame interview, CSU head coach Tim Miles made a point to mention that he knew that the Bearkats would be a tough test. He got all he had imagined and even more as I'm not even sure Jason Hooten would have thought that the Bearkats could play as well as they did in the second half Saturday night.
After playing the last two on the road, the Bearkats will return home Wednesday, December 1st to play St. Thomas. Tip-off is set for 7 PM.