Coming off their best all-around performance in a win Saturday night against Colorado State, the Bearkats headed home to try to build on that game and pick up a win heading into three big non-conference home games over the next two weeks.
The win they picked up, but St. Thomas had a little something to say about the Bearkats keeping momentum heading into the weekend.
The 'Kats were forced to scratch and claw their way to a 54-46 victory over the Celts.
The Celts came out early and set the tone with slow, patient offensive sets. They were intent on moving the ball until they found the one shot they couldn't pass up. Not only did it lead to made baskets, but it kept the Bearkats from being able to get out in transition and run.
The Bearkats in turn moved the ball well, but couldn't get their shots to fall. Several Bearkats never got it going. Aaron Thompson, Nafis Richardson, Drae Murray and Antuan Bootle combined to miss all 16 shots they took.
As a team, Sam Houston shot 30.8 percent from the field.
The Celts made it their mission to force the Bearkats post players to work extra hard for their looks inside. That mission was certainly accomplished as Gilberto Clavell went 5-for-14 in addition to Bootle's rough night.
The saving grace of the night might have been the 14 points the Bearkats scored off of the 25 turnovers for St. Thomas.
Clavell's 16 points led the way for the 'Kats, but it was Josten Crow who led the offense. He poured in 14, but it was on much more efficient 5-for-8 shooting. Crow added four assists and six steals to complete a very well-rounded stat line.
The Celts scrappy, half-court offense kept them in the game, but overall the 'Kats did a good job keeping them from having a field day. As a team, the Celts shot 38.1 percent from the floor and 29.4 percent from behind the arc.
Jeremy Lewis led the way for St. Thomas with 14. Andrew Medina added 11 off the bench.
From here, the Bearkats will stay at home for a tough stretch of games. They host the University of Houston on Saturday, North Texas on the 8th and Cleveland State on the 11th.
Tip-off for Saturday's game against the Cougars is set for 2 PM at Johnson Coliseum.
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