HUNTSVILLE, Texas — Leon Gilmore III scored a career-high 23 points with 11 rebounds and four blocks as Stephen F. Austin jumped out to an early lead and dominated Sam Houston State 65-53 on Saturday night in the regular-season finale.
Both teams will have a first-round bye in the upcoming Southland Conference Tournament set to begin in Katy, Texas on Wednesday. Stephen F. Austin (25-6, 14-4) has a No. 3 seed and Sam Houston State (18-13, 12-6) enters the tourney as the No. 4 seed.
Shannon Bogues added 15 points for SFA. Gilmore had 12 points and three blocks in the first half.
The Lumberjacks powered their way to a 37-16 halftime advantage, shooting 54 percent (13-24) from the field while limiting SHSU to 6-of-27 shooting (22 percent).
The Bearkats got back in the game in the second half, besting the Lumberjacks 37-28, but SFA maintained a double-digit advantage throughout the final period.
SFA has dominated this rivalry recently, winning 16 of the last 17 meetings, including an 82-66 victory earlier this year.
Christopher Galbreath Jr. had 13 points and Marcus Harris added 12 for SHSU.