SFA ‘Jacks pick up key 78-68 win over rival Sam Houston

SFA ‘Jacks pick up key 78-68 win over rival Sam Houston
SFA vs Sam Houston (SFA Athletics) (Source: SFA Athletics)

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (News release) - The SFA men’s basketball came out on top of rival Sam Houston inside William R. Johnson Coliseum on Sunday evening in a nationally televised affair, gaining critical position in the SLC title hunt with the 78-68 victory.

Senior guard David Kachelries was stellar in what amounted to a career day for the Pennsylvania native, who tallied 22 points on an efficient 8-12 shooting night to held SFA edge its rival for the third consecutive win in the series. With the victory, SFA moves to 10-3 on the season and 6-1 in league play.

HOW IT HAPPENED - The opening minutes of play saw the two squads go back and forth in the score column, with SFA notching a narrow 12-7 lead with 13:42 left to play in the opening half. The Lumberjacks then used a 10-4 run over the next few minutes to open up a 22-11 lead and spur a Bearkats timeout with just under 10 minutes left to go. The Bearks slowly crawled their way back to within two points (29-27) in the waning moments of the half, and despite SFA getting lead back up to as many as nine points, would trail by just three at the halftime break after closing out the half on a 7-1 run. After entering the halftime break with a 39-36 lead, SFA clipped a five-point Bearkat run to open the stanza and quickly extended the lead out to 49-41.

The Lumberjacks continued to keep the Bearkats at bay with regular scoring, staving off a comeback bid with 5:30 left to go in which SHSU trimmed the lead to just four, 69-65, and would extend the lead out to a ten-point margin to end it thanks to final baskets from Gavin Kensmil and Roti Ware.

LEADERS - David Kachelries led all scorers with 22 points, even outscoring Southland scoring leader Zach Nutall, who finished with 14 points. Teammate Roti Ware added 19 points for the ‘Jacks, and tied for the team lead with two blocks. Calvin Solomon led SFA with seven rebounds, while Kachelries’ five assists led the ‘Jacks as well.

KEY NUMBERS - SFA generated 40 points in the paint compared to 26 by the Bearkats, and also carved ut an advantage in fast break points (16-5). The Lumberjacks shot extremely well at the free throw line, going 19-22 (86.4 percent )at the stripe to punish a foul-happy SHSU squad.

UP NEXT - SFA will make up a postponed contest against the Islanders of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Wednesday in Corpus Christi. The game had been scheduled to take place on January 6, but was postponed as a result of COVID protocols.