The Lumberjack basketball team finished their regular season play as the Southland Conference champions with a 68-57 win against the Sam Houston State Bearkats.

The Bearkats took the early lead against the Jacks after getting the first two points of the game and later on a three-pointer that made the score 9-3. SFA had a slow start with only making three out of ten attempted field goals while SHSU had made six out of 13 attempted. Both teams kept the game close at the beginning of the first half.

The game was tied 30-30 with 2:59 remaining in the first half. The Jacks finished leading the first half 35-34 after a couple of made free throws. It wasn’t until the second half that SFA was able to extend the lead.

Sam Houston State took the lead at the beginning of the second half after a made three-pointer by senior forward/center Kai Mitchell. The Jacks went on an 18-3 run to take the lead and extend it as the score was 58-45 with 5:33 remaining in the game. 

The lead changed seven times and the game was tied seven times. The Jacks finished with a 43.4 field-goal percentage, a 25.0 three-point percentage and a 60.0 free throw percentage. The Bearkats finished with a 37.0 field-goal percentage, a 22.2 three-point percentage and a 65.0 free throw percentage.

SFA had 41 rebounds, 20 turnovers, 13 steals, and nine blocks. The team also had 38 points in the paint, 18 second-chance points and 20 points off the bench. SHSU had a total of 34 rebounds, 25 turnovers, 10 steals and nine blocks. The Bearkats also had 30 points in the paint and 15 points off the bench.

Junior forward Gavin Kensmil led the game and the Jacks with 17 points as well as contributing with 10 rebounds, one assist and one steal. Two other Jacks scored double digits which includes junior guard Roti Ware and junior guard Cameron Johnson.

The Lumberjacks will play in the Southland Conference tournament with their first game at 5 p.m. on Friday in Katy.

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