CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The American Bank Center has been a difficult location for Sam Houston’s men’s basketball team over the years, but the Bearkats found a way to escape to it with a win on Wednesday night.
Freshman Bryce Monroe scored two free throws in the final seconds to score a 75-70 win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and increase SHSU’s winning streak to 10 straight games.
The Kats also remained unbeaten 7-0 in the action of the Southland Conference and improved from 0: 4 to 13: 5 in the season after the start. Senior Demarkus Lampley continued his hot streak in the conference game, leading Sam Houston with 21 points out of four for nine shots from 3-point range. Junior Zach Nutall scored 18 points, Junior Tristan Ikpe 12 and Monroe nine.
The Bearkats led most of the evening, but the islanders used a 10-0 run to take their only lead at 58:56 with just under 10 minutes of play. As every time A&M-Corpus Christi (3-10, 0-4) made a run, Sam Houston took back the momentum. Nutall led an 8-0 run with three layups, and newcomer Jarren Cook also scored when the Bearkats stormed back to 64:58 four minutes later.
Sam Houston never gave up the lead after that. SHSU never fell behind in the first half, but the islanders kept things tight. A&M Corpus Christi fought back at midnight after Sam Houston took a 10-2 lead in the first few minutes. SHSU responded with a 12-0 run. Monroe started with a step-back 3-hand at the 5:14 mark of the opening phase.
Nutall followed with a knight in the lane, and Lampley hit on a layup to make the 31-24. Junior Manny Crump and Nutall hit consecutive layups, with Nutall’s basket turning into a three-point game thanks to a foul on the shot for a 36:24 win.
The Islanders made it back to a six-point deficit, but Junior Dylan Robertson hit on a put-back layup to send the Kats into the 38-30 break. Sam Houston travels to Nacogdoches on Sunday for a 3pm rivalry showdown with Stephen F. Austin. The game will be broadcast nationwide on ESPNU.