Southland Tournament: New Orleans vs Sam Houston State Prediction
New Orleans vs Sam Houston State Preview
The top-seeded Sam Houston State Bearkats (21-10, 16-2) are looking to punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2010 as they take on No.4 seed New Orleans (18-12, 12-6).
The Privateers advanced by taking down fifth-seed Lamar 76-72 in a game that featured back-and-forth action and a game winning three with 22.1 seconds left by Bryson Robinson. He finished with 17 points and four assists, while Scott Plaisance Jr. added 16 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots and Jorge Rosa went 3-for-5 from long distance for 13 points.
“I’ve been on record as saying the MVP of our team is the team,” said head coach Mark Slessinger. “For stretches today, we had a new player take over and our team from top to bottom are a confident group. We are excited and it’s a celebration of the hard work these guys have gone through, but it doesn’t end tonight.”
Slessinger will need a team effort to take down the Bearkats, and he knows it:
“We have a tough task in front of us against the regular season champions. Hats off to coach Hooten and the Bearkats and we look forward to playing Sam Houston again.”
It’s been a bit of a layoff for SHSU, but after their regular season finale, they had a right to sit back and prepare for this moment.
Saturday afternoon at Stephen F. Austin, the Bearkat men’s basketball team put an exclamation mark on a conference championship regular season with a 68-57 win over the Lumberjacks. The win in Nacogdoches was the first for the Bearkats since the 2011 season and the first season sweep of SFA since the 2010 Southland Championship season. The win also eliminated SFA, who had won four of the last five Southland Conference Tournament titles.
Josh Delaney, who was recently named to the All-Southland Conference Third Team led the way for the Bearkats, scoring 19 points on 5-for-8 from the three-point line. The senior guard also added three assists and three steals.
Josh’s brother Cameron is the one who will need to be contained by the Privateers if they want a chance to pull the upset.
Cameron Delaney was named the Southland Conference Player of the Year after averaging 13.4 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. He was one of the most accurate shooters in the league, hitting 48.1 percent of his shots from the field and 43.6 percent form 3-point range, canning 72 triples on the year and also hitting 72-for-88 (81.8 percent) from the foul line.
He was even better in conference play as a senior, ranking ninth in the league in SLC-only games with 15.6 points per game while also ranking 10th in those games in rebounding (6.3 rpg). Delaney’s deadly shooting eye was on point against league opponents where he buried a league-best 49.1 percent (52 of 106) of his 3-pointers, but also was seventh in overall shooting accuracy from the field, hitting 50.6 percent of his shots.
“He didn’t even start last year, but we had an injury and he started three games in CIT and I think that made a big difference for him,” head coach Jason Hooten said. “He has worked so hard, and you love to see those kinds of stories have a positive ending because hard work pays off. I can’t think of a guy more deserving. It’s nice to see the best player off the best team get the recognition.”
The Bearkats won the only meeting in the regular season 71-60 at New Orleans on Feb.27th.
LINE: -5.5 SHSU
Dan’s Bet: -5.5 SHSU
Score Prediction: Sam Houston State 72 New Orleans 65