Sam Houston Set to Face UTEP in Conference USA Semifinals After Decisive Victory

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The Bearkats gear up for a showdown with UTEP following a commanding win over FIU in the tournament quarterfinals

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — In a commanding display of teamwork and strategy, Sam Houston advanced to the semifinals of the Conference USA Tournament, defeating FIU 78-59 at Propst Arena on Wednesday. The victory sets up a highly anticipated semifinal clash with UTEP, who secured their spot by winning against Liberty.

Leading the charge for the top-seeded Bearkats (21-11) was Kian Scroggins, who came off the bench to contribute 11 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. Davon Barnes topped the scoring with 15 points, while Cameron Huefner added 12, and both Lamar Wilkerson and Marcus Boykin chipped in with 11 points each.

Sam Houston established a significant lead by halftime, reminiscent of their earlier season victory over FIU, despite the Panthers’ attempt at a second-half comeback with an initial 5-0 run. However, strategic plays and consecutive scoring from Barnes and Wilkerson widened the gap to 49-32, effectively dampening FIU’s momentum.

The Bearkats’ defensive and offensive efforts shone particularly in the second half, marked by a decisive 7-0 run that left the Panthers trailing significantly. Contributions from Souleymane Doumbia, Owen McGlashan, and a dominant lead by Boykin underscored Sam Houston’s comprehensive game plan and execution.

The game’s narrative was consistent with Sam Houston’s proactive approach from the start, managing to counter every FIU attempt at a comeback with their own runs, showcasing the depth and resilience of their squad.

As the Bearkats prepare to face UTEP in the semifinals, their comprehensive victory over FIU not only highlights their potential but also sets the stage for an exciting matchup in the quest for the Conference USA title.