Sam Houston State Bearkats (19-13) at SE Louisiana Lions (21-10)
College Basketball: Friday, March 9, 2018 at 6:00 pm (Leonard E. Merrell Center)
The Line: SE Louisiana Lions -1 -- Over/Under: 132 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Sam Houston State Bearkats and SE Louisiana Lions will face off at the Leonard E. Merrell Center this Friday night in the semifinals of the Southland Men’s Tournament.
The 4-seed Sam Houston State Bearkats improved to 19-13 (12-6 Southland) on the season after defeating the 5-seed New Orleans Privateers, 85-63, last night in the 2nd round of the Southland Men’s Tournament. Sam Houston State was outstanding on the offensive end throughout the game against New Orleans and had no trouble securing the victory after leading by a 50-32 margin at halftime. Sam Houston State shot 47.5% from the field and 52.4% (11-21) from beyond the arc in the win. Leading the way for the Bearkats was Josh Delaney who had 25 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals. On the season, Sam Houston State is averaging 70.4 ppg on 42.5% shooting from the field. The Bearkats are averaging 6.9 three-pointers per game on 32.6% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Sam Houston State has been led by Christopher Galbreath Jr. (15.2 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 1.3 apg), Marcus Harris (10.1 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.0 apg), John Dewey III (9.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 4.4 apg, 1.0 spg), and Jamal Williams (8.1 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.1 spg). Defensively, Sam Houston State is holding their opponents to an average of 67.6 ppg on 42.7% shooting from the field. The Bearkats have a rebound margin of 3.0 and a turnover margin of 1.4.
The SE Louisiana Lions finished their regular season with an overall record of 21-10 and earned the top-seed in the Southland Men’s Tournament after finishing conference play with a record of 15-3. SE Louisiana come into the Southland Men’s Tournament on an 8-game winning streak which included an impressive 69-57 win against the Nicholls Colonels in their regular season finale which gave the Lions the top-seed in the conference tournament. SE Louisiana has been led by their defense this season which currently ranks 81st in scoring defense and 96th in turnover margin. On the season, SE Louisiana is averaging 72.6 ppg on 45.5% shooting from the field. The Lions are averaging 7.5 three-pointers per game on 35.7% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, SE Louisiana has been led by Jordan Capps (13.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.0 bpg), Marlain Veal (12.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 6.1 apg, 2.1 spg), Moses Greenwood (10.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.0 bpg), and Eddy Polanco (8.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.5 apg). Defensively, SE Louisiana is allowing their opponents to average 68.7 ppg on 43.3% shooting from the field. The Lions have a rebound margin of -0.5 and a turnover margin of 1.2.
The Bearkats are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. Southland opponents however, just 4-9-2 ATS in their last 15 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record. The Lions are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 Friday games and 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Sam Houston State won their only matchup against SE Louisiana this season, defeating the Lions by a 75-65 margin at home in late January.
Sam Houston State has won 3 of their last 5 games and has been led by their defense that ranks 55th in scoring defense, 107th in defensive FG%, and 78th in rebound margin. SE Louisiana has been playing some of their best basketball of the season, however, the Lions can struggle on the offensive end at times as they rank just 214th in scoring offense. Se Louisiana is a good team, however, I think that Sam Houston State defense is going to give the Lions some trouble, and as I think the Bearkats will be able to keep it close late as the Lions really struggle at the FT-line, I’m taking Sam Houston State and the points.