The Huskies of Houston Baptist (0-6, 0-0) came into their home opener looking for their first win of the year. Their opponent, Samford University (5-5, 0-0), came into this game looking to extend the losing streak. They have had a rough start to the year losing by an average margin of 27.3 points per game. They have given up 100 points or more in three of those losses.
The Huskies still play the toughest strength of schedule according to ESPN. They have lost to the likes of Texas Tech, Michigan and Dayton.
HBU has struggled from the field (37%) and has turned the ball over plenty. They are led by senior guards, Jalon Gates (17.5 PPG) and Ian DuBose (16 PPG).
Both teams came running out the gates and hitting the boards. It was a back and forth affair and early on it was 11-10 HBU on a Gates three. Five straight Samford points sent the teams to a timeout with the Bulldogs up 15-10.
The teams continued the uptempo play and trading baskets. Gates hit another big three to bring HBU back to within two at 19-17 and had already scored eight points in the first eight minutes. He continued his hot shooting and hit another three to make it 29-26 Samford.
Time out was called with 6:44 left in the first half with Samford up 36-33. HBU was having a hard time stopping Bulldog’s big man, Jalen Dupree. He scored nine points in one stretch by taking the ball to the hole and hitting his free throws. Samford guard, Josh Sharkey was also very effective in scoring and dishing out the ball.
The momentum started to turn towards the Bulldogs as they went on a 13-4 run to make it 49-37. The run was aided by poor shot selection from HBU. In the meantime, Samford was shooting a hot 68% from the field and 67% from three-point range. Sharkey continued to control the pace and be the floor general for Samford. The lead ballooned to 18, 55-37, and there seemed to be no answer from HBU.
HBU closed the half out on an 8-0 run to cut the lead down to 10 at 55-45. Samford appeared to tire at the end of the half and the Huskies made the most of it.
The second half began with both teams attacking the basket and hitting the boards. Another three by Gates cut the lead down to seven at 59-52. That was followed by a Ty Dalton three to make 59-55, but Samford would extend the lead back to seven at 64-57 with 15:50 to go in the game.
Gates hit a couple of more threes to keep his team in this one and it was 70-64 at the 13:46 mark. Brandon Austin got hot for Samford scoring six points in the first six minutes of the second half. Sharkey continued his all-around game and was working on a double-double.
Then, the Huskies got tired and Samford kept on stroking their shots. Before they knew it, Houston Baptist was now down 12 at 82-70. Austin continued to kill them hitting timely shots. A Dante Tatum three made it 85-70 and that was followed by an Austin slam. It was at this point that the rout appeared to on for Samford.
With 7:18 to go, it was 94-75 Samford and all that was left was what the final score would be. HBU had missed six of their last eight shots while the Bulldogs were 5-6 in the same stretch.
Things began to get a little heated when Dupree got fouled under the basket by Ryan Gomes. Gomes kept walking to the other end of the floor, but Dupree had to be restrained by his teammates. Play was stopped so the refs could take a look at the play and they called a Flagrant 2 on Gomes. A technical was called on Dupree as well. After the foul shots, it was 101-80 Samford with just over four minutes left.
Houston Baptist would fall for the seventh straight game to open the season. Samford would finish it off and get the 113-90 win.
Houston Baptist Game Notes
Six players would score in double figures for the Huskies. They were led by Gates as he put up 20 points. Ty Dalton would finish with 17, Qon Murphy had 13, and Jackson Stent, who made some nice shots, finished with 12. The team was a minus 23 on the stat sheet and they shot just 50% (9-18) from the free-throw line.
Sharkey had a great game for Samford finishing up with 18 points and 15 assists. He had help from Dupree’s 23 points and six rebounds, Logan Dye’s 16, and Robert Allen as well with 15 of his own. Samford shot a blistering 62% from three-point range for the game.