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    Hot-Shooting Bearkats Too Much For SFA
    Darius Gardner scored nine points in SFA's 61-45 loss to Sam Houston State Wednesday
    Darius Gardner scored nine points in SFA's 61-45 loss to Sam Houston State Wednesday

    March 9, 2011

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    KATY, Texas - Gilberto Clavell scored 20 points to lead Sam Houston State to a 61-45 win over Stephen F. Austin Wednesday in the first round of the State Farm Southland Conference Basketball Tournament. Behind a 9-for-12 effort by Clavell, the Bearkats shot 57 percent from the floor, a season-high for Lumberjack opponents.

    SFA finishes its season with an 18-11 overall record. The Lumberjacks came into the tournament as the No. 6 seed after going 9-7 in league play. Third-seeded Sam Houston (18-12) moves on to face UTSA Thursday in the tournament semifinals.

    Senior Eddie Williams scored 11 points to lead SFA, but he was the only Lumberjack to reach double figures. The 'Jacks shot just 40 percent as a team. Darius Gardner added nine points, and Jordan Glynn chipped in with eight.

    The Bearkats finished with a 28-22 advantage in rebounding, marking just the sixth time this season for SFA to be outrebounded.

    Sam Houston hit four of its first six attempts to jump out to a 9-0 lead and was up 12-2 by the 14:14 mark. SFA drew to within six (20-14) on a 3-pointer by Amos Olatayo with 7:06 to play, but the Bearkats answered with a 7-0 spurt to push their advantage back to 13 points by the 4:49 mark.

    Williams and Gardner hit threes on consecutive possessions to cut it to 10 with 1:18 to play, but Sam Houston got a bucket from Drae Murray with three seconds left to take a 36-24 lead to the locker room.

    Williams was 4-of-7 for 10 first-half points, matching Clavell's total in the first period.

    SFA was 4-of-5 from 3-point range in the opening period but just 6-for-20 inside the arc. Sam Houston outrebounded the Lumberjacks, 17-9, before the break and outscored them 8-6 in the paint.

    After the Bearkats built lead to 14 in the first five minutes of the second period, the 'Jacks stiffened defensively to hold Sam Houston scoreless for the next eight minutes. But SFA was unable to capitalize, getting only two field goals of its own during that stretch.

    A Gardner jumper at the 10:24 mark cut the lead to 44-36, but Sam Houston pushed its advantage back to 13 with 6:11 to play and went on to lead by as many as 17 down the stretch.

    Josten Crown joined Clavell in double figures with 11 points, and Nafis Richardson came off the bench for 10.

    -- SFA --

      COMING SOON