Bearkats and Bulldogs Vie for Regular Season Conference Crown

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Title Chase Heats Up: Sam Houston Battles Louisiana Tech for Top Spot

Press Release from

RUSTIN, La. — With a conference championship on the line, Sam Houston will head north to take on Louisiana Tech Thursday at the Thomas Assembly Center.

A could secure the Bearkats the regular season conference championship in their inaugural season in Conference USA, and would at minimum give Sam Houston (18-11, 11-3 CUSA) a share of the title.

Neither team was selected to finish at the top of the conference in the preseason poll. Now both teams head into Thursday’s contest seeking the No. 1 seed in the CUSA conference tournament.

Sam Houston already took the Bulldogs down, 81-77, in the CUSA opener for both teams. Lamar Wilkerson led the way for the Kats with 24 points and the defense held preseason player of the year selection Isaiah Crawford to 12 points for Louisiana Tech.

Neither team could pull away from each other in their first meeting, going back and forth with each other in the first half. Wilkerson would eventually break the tie with a late 3-pointer off a sweet find from Jaden Ray to put the Bearkats up three heading into the break.

The second half would show the tenacity that the Kats possess, as the Bulldogs would continually go up by five points and look to pull away. But every time they did, Sam Houston would claw right back into it. Whether it was Ray answering with an individual 5-0 run or key shots by Anthony Wrzeszcz and Souleymane Doumbia, the Kats kept pace with Louisiana Tech all game long.

As the game entered crunch time, Wilkerson made a statement for the Bearkats, scoring seven points in the final five minutes and nailing a pair of free throws to ice the game away for the Kats.

Davon Barnes would add 15 points for Sam Houston, Marcus Boykin contributed 11 points off the bench and Damon Nicholas Jr. led the way with nine rebounds.

Tip-off Thursday is set for 8 p.m. and will be televised on CBS Sports Network.


  • As the regular season comes to a close, the Kats have been dominant down the stretch. Winning five in-a-row by an average of 14 points, including avenging their conference losses against FIU and Liberty in Huntsville.
  • Sam Houston has been burying teams early in games, and a big reason for that is the play of Wilkerson and Barnes. Both guards have had electric starts during the winning streak, with Wilkerson scoring 23 in the first half against NM State and Barnes scoring 19 against MTSU.
  • Sam Houston has been living by the phrase, “No rebounds no rings,” outrebounding conference opponents in 10 of 14 conference games.