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Men's basketball defeats conference rivals Central Arkansas, falls to Oral Roberts 65-61 in overtime

Sports Reporter

Published: Monday, January 21, 2013

Updated: Monday, January 21, 2013 23:01

Lizeth de la Garza | The Houstonian

Lizeth de la Garza | The Houstonian

The Sam Houston State men’s basketball team stretched their winning streak Thursday with a 63-52 win against Central Arkansas but came to a halt with a 65-61 loss in overtime against conference-ranked Oral Roberts Saturday at Johnson Coliseum. 

Bearkat Guard Paul Baxter headed the SHSU offensive stretch shooting for 19 points against the Bears and seven points against the Golden Eagles.

Head Coach James Hooten remains pleased with his hoop squad after falling short to ORU in overtime.

“I think the team we played [Saturday] is a lot like we are,” Hooten said. “They’re a grinded out defensive team and normally if you score 65, 66, 67 points either one of us is pretty happy.”

SHSU committed 25 fouls against the golden eagles, which, in turn, shot for 84 percent at the line for a total of 31 points. Bearkat fans challenged the referees calling the matchup for questionable shooting fouls Saturday afternoon. When asked about the numerous penalties, Hooten declined to comment.

The Bearkats were unable to stay consistent at the free-throw line Saturday but according to Hooten it’s where his Bearkats have improved the most throughout the season.

“We’ve really improved in that category this year,” Hooten said. “We’ve gotten all the way up to 66 percent as a team but on the flip side they shoot about 77 percent as a team and they made their’s [Saturday] and we didn’t.”

Earlier in week Baxter led the Bearkats to outshoot UCA, known for their high scoring games, Thursday night at the coliseum.  

Bearkat Center Michael Holyfield ignited the stands with an opening dunk against the Bears on Thursday, giving the Bearkats early momentum to go into halftime with a seven point lead (31-24). Holyfield would close out against UCA shooting for only two points and fighting for four rebounds.

For his team to remain top ranked in the Southland Conference, Hooten believes offensive execution will be the key.

“I think we got to make more shots and sink more shots and execute a little better offensively and defensively.” Hooten said. “Our game plan was great and we did a good job.”

SHSU (11-7, 4-2 SLC) will travel to Hammonds, La. to face conference rival Southeastern Louisiana Thursday at 7:15 p.m. The men will then hit the road to Thibodaux, La. to square off against conference rivals Nicholls State at 4 p.m. For more information and access to full schedules and roster, visit www.gobearkats.com.

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