Preston Guiot and Ricky Odige hit clutch free throws late in the game to claim a 65-60 victory over the visiting Hornets of Emporia State. SBU had a balanced offensive attack, with having every player seeing minutes scoring at least four points in the win.
SBU was quick out of the gate, scoring the games first 10 points from five different players, and forcing Emporia State to take an early timeout. The Bearcats continued to push the gas pedal, increasing their lead to 20 (29-9) with 8:59 to go in the half before Emporia State started to respond. The Hornets slowly chipped away at the Bearcats lead, as SBU went into the half ahead 37-29.
In the second half the Bearcats maintained a six to eight point lead for a majority of the remainder of the game, as they responded well to any run the Hornets presented. Preston Guiot hit four clutch free throws in the final 46 seconds to help seal a 65-60 SBU victory.
Preston Guiot was the leading scorer for the Bearcats, giving SBU 15 points while dishing out a team high 6 assists and pulling down 4 boards. Jaywuan Hill had a solid game for the Bearcats off of the bench, scoring 11 points and grabbing 8 rebounds, while Jalen Loving and Rashaad Brown-Peterson both added 9 points in the victory.
As a team SBU shot 42.6% from the field, 33.3% from beyond the arc, and 87.0% from the free throw line. The Bearcats hit 20 free throws in the game, had 13 assists, and collected 7 blocks in the win.
"Tonight was a good learning experience for our guys to overcome some adversity," head coach Jeff Guiot stated after the victory. "We withstood their run at us and I like the way the guys responded. The bottom line is we got the victory. I thought our guards did a great job at helping out as much as possible, and I thought our guard perimeter defense was really sold. The guys are getting better and we are starting to grow as a team."
SBU will return to action on Saturday, January 12 when they host Northeastern State. Tip-off against the Riverhawks is set for 7:30 p.m. from the Meyer Sports Center in Bolivar.