Mitchell scores 18, Sam Houston State edges Houston Baptist

HOUSTON (AP) — Kai Mitchell had 18 points and nine rebounds and Sam Houston State defeated Houston Baptist 71-65 on Saturday night to remain the Southland Conference’s only unbeaten team.

Cameron Delaney had 14 points and Josh Delaney added 11 points with eight assists for SHSU (10-8, 5-0). Albert Almanza, who made all six of his free throws, added 11 points for the Bearkats.

Southland Conference leading-scorer Ian DuBose (19.4 ppg) had 15 points, 11 rebounds and five assists for the Huskies (5-11, 1-4). Oliver Lynch-Daniels made 8 of 10 free throws and scored 13 points, while Braxton Bonds had 10 points and seven rebounds.

Houston Baptist last led 49-48 then drew within four points several times later in the second half, the second-to-last at 60-56 with 4:28 remaining. The Bearkats led by nine heading to the final minute.

As HBU attempted to come back, the Huskies scored twice in the final minute and fouled after each score. Xavier Bryant made 1 of 2 free throws after the first foul and HBU’s Ian DuBose followed with a dunk to trail 69-65. Next the Huskies fouled Albert Almanza, who made both free throws, and the six-point lead held up — with a hitch.

Almanza was assessed a technical foul after time ran out, but no free throws were attempted, five seconds were put back on the clock, and possession awarded to SHSU which ran out the clock a second time.