Dewey III

Sam Houston State point guard John Dewey III attempts a layup while Huskies center Josh Ibarra, right, defends during the Bearkats’ 79-65 loss to Houston Baptist on Thursday night.

The Bearkats didn’t get off to the start in conference play they had envisioned on Thursday night.

Houston Baptist came alive in the second half, outscoring Sam Houston State 53-35 en route to a 79-65 victory in the two teams’ conference opener at Johnson Coliseum.

The Huskies (1-0 in Southland Conference, 5-6 overall) caught fire in the final 20 minutes, knocking down 57.1 percent of their shots from the field, which included 6-of-9 shooting from 3-point land.

Houston Baptist outrebounded the Bearkats 38-22 as well, leading to a 16-8 advantage in second-chance points.

“They just kicked our tail in every facet,” Sam Houston head coach Jason Hooten said. “We couldn’t stop them. I played almost everybody. I gave everybody a chance and we couldn’t get a stop and we couldn’t make a shot. We just got pounded on the boards. You’re not going to win many games when you get outrebounded by 16. We definitely were outplayed tonight.”

Sam Houston (0-1, 9-5) shot an abysmal 14.3 percent (3 for 21) from behind the arc and struggled at the free-throw line, connecting on just 10 of its 19 attempts from the charity stripe.

“That’s kind of been our thing here as of late from the 3-point line,” Hooten said. “We just didn’t make the 3-point shot and didn’t execute as well as we needed to on offense.”

Houston Baptist forward Colter Lasher and guard Reveal Chukwujekwu combined to score 38 points on 12-of-18 shooting, burying six of their combined eight 3-point shots.

Huskies guard Braxton Bonds chipped in 13 points.

Bearkats center Aurimas Majauskas scored a team-high 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting despite missing a large chunk of the second half after getting whacked in the face on a made layup.

Sam Houston will hit the road on Saturday to take on Central Arkansas, with tipoff set for 4 p.m. 

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