Standing at the free throw line with three seconds remaining in the game and the score tied at 69, Anthony Odunsi made the first of two free throws and as a result, led the Houston Baptist University Huskies to a 70-69 win over the Sam Houston State University Bearkats at Sharp Gymnasium on Saturday, January 30, 2016. With the victory, the Huskies earned their tenth straight win and their first victory over the Bearkats since joining the Southland Conference.
The win was also first for Husky head coach Ron Cottrell over Sam Houston State. The Huskies improved to 10-0 at Sharp Gymnasium this season and their best start since the 2006-07 when they went 13-0 at home. Cottrell was quoted from the post-game meeting with the media, stating:
“It wasn’t a pretty game, but that’s the way it goes sometimes in conference play. Sam Houston State is a tough team and I have a lot of respect for what Hooten (SHSU head coach) has done there. Defensively, they are as tough as a team you’re going to face. They got down and really guarded, but our guys were able to fight through it and hit shots when they needed to.”
The Huskies led the game at half time by the score of 35-33. They did not trail in the game until the 17:45 mark in the second half when Sam Houston took their first lead of the game. Jamal Williams made a layup to give the Bearkats a 39-37 lead. The game was a give-and-take affair from that point on until The Huskies secured the win.
Starting forward Colter Lasher paced the Huskies with 14 points and 10 rebounds, getting his first double-double of the season. Teammates Reveal Chukwujekwu and Odunsi added 14 and 12 points respectively. The Bearkats had four players in double figures, with Dakarai Henderson leading their scoring with 16 points. Jamal Williams had eight rebounds to go with hos 14 points.
The Huskies raised their Southland Conference record to 8-0 and their season record to 14-7. The Bearkats fell to 6-3 in conference and 11-11 for the season. HBU remains at the top of the conference standings, along with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (7-0) and Stephen F. Austin (7-0). The Huskies will face SFA on Saturday, February 6 at Sharp Gym and TAMU-Corpus Christi two days later on the road.