Sam Houston State suffered its worst shooting performance of the season in a 78-60 loss to Fresno State in an ESPN BracketBuster matchup on Saturday night in Fresno, Calif.

The Kats’ six-game winning streak came to a screeching halt when they hit only 20 of 79, or 25 percent, of their shots. The Bulldogs on the other hand, connected on 47 percent of their shots from the field including 47 percent behind the arc.

In both the first and second halves, SHSU (10-2 in Southland Conference, 18-8 overall) went several minutes without a basket, as Fresno State built a double-digit lead to put the Kats in too deep of a hole to climb out of.

“In the first half we were down one at 18-17, then (we) went five and a half minutes without a field goal,” SHSU head coach Bob Marlin said. “Then they went on an 18-1 run to go up 18. We cut the lead to nine right before halftime, and I told the guys not to allow them to score. We shut them out the rest of the half. But in the second half, we again let them go on an 18-2 run and went seven and a half minutes without a field goal.

“We shot a season-low 25 percent from the field and 27 percent from behind the arc. Our 3-point shooting was better than our field goals. That’s the difference in the game.”

The Bearkats top two scorers, junior Ryan Bright (14.9) and senior Aaron Wade (12.2), were a combined to go 2 for 18 from the field and combined to score seven points.

Jeremy Thomas came off the bench to lead SHSU with 13 points, and Jejuan Plair added 12. James Barrett had nine points and eight rebounds, while Reggie Rawlins scored eight.

“Ryan Bright and Aaron Wade were 2 for 18 (from the field) and 0 for 6 from 3. We aren’t going to win many games when that happens,” Marlin said. “Jeremy Thomas came off the bench and played well. Jejuan fought hard and came up big in the second half despite foul trouble. James Barrett and Reggie Rawlins also did some good things.”

The Bulldogs were 14 of 30 from 3-point land mainly because of guard Eddie Miller. Miller scored a game-high 27 points and was 7 of 10 from long range.

The Bearkats have to regroup with an SLC showdown against Texas-Arlington looming Thursday at Johnson Coliseum. The Mavericks beat SHSU earlier this season in Arlington.

“We did a good job with their big guys, but their guards are what hurt us tonight,” Marlin said. “We both hit seven 3s in the first half, but they hit seven in the second and we only hit two. We just have to get back after it and look forward to Texas-Arlington.”

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