KATY, Texas -- Darius Gatson scored 19 points, James Thomas had a double-double and Sam Houston State advanced to the second round of the Southland Conference tournament with a 69-63 win over Central Arkansas on Wednesday night.
Thomas had 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Bearkats, which are 3-0 against Central Arkansas this season.
Sam Houston State (16-16) trailed 29-28 at halftime but used a 26-12 run to begin the second half capped off by a Gatson 3-pointer with 8:36 remaining in the game and the sixth-seeded Bearkats never looked back.
Gatson hit six 3-pointers on the night for Sam Houston State, which shot 48.1 percent from the field and hit nine 3-pointers.
Sam Houston State will play third-seeded Oral Roberts, which received a first-round bye, in second-round action of the Southland Conference tournament on Thursday.