Sam Houston State came out with a bang and never stopped. Gilberto Clavell scored a career-high 34 points, going 14-for-17 from the field, to lead the Bearkats to a 107-89 road victory over Auburn for the school's first victory against a Southeastern Conference opponent.
The Bearkats (7-3) had five players in double figures and shot 57.6 percent from the field. Corey Almond added 25 points and Lance Pevehouse had 13 off the bench for Sam Houston State. Josten Crow added 15 points and Ashton Mitchell scored 10.
Sam Houston State Coach Bob Marlin, who attended Mississippi State, returned to Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum for the first time since he was an assistant at Alabama from 1995-98.
"We got off to a good start shooting the basketball," he said. "We felt comfortable in the first half and were able to get some threes in."
Sam Houston State's three-point shooting made the difference against the Tigers. The Bearkats were 15-for-28 from the three-point line in their second game against the SEC this season.
Kentucky defeated Sam Houston State 102-92 on Nov. 19, as Almond hit a Rupp Arena-record 11 three-pointers in that loss. He added six more against Auburn (5-6).
"We've been talking about this game since the Kentucky game," Clavell said. "Games against high major teams can only make us better. We're all very happy with this win."
No. 14 Connecticut 60, Central Florida 51: Stanley Robinson scored 26 points and Connecticut came from behind to beat Central Florida in Hartford, Conn. Robinson scored 23 points in the second half, helping UConn (7-2) overcome a nine-point deficit.
Ater Majok, a much heralded 6-foot-11 forward with a 7-7 wingspan, had a less than auspicious debut, scoring a single point and grabbing three rebounds. The former refugee from Sudan had not been eligible until the end of the 2009 fall semester.
Marshall 109, High Point 76: Damier Pitts and Tyler Wilkerson (Lafayette) scored 18 points apiece, leading host Marshall (9-1) to its seventh straight win. Wilkerson also had 10 rebounds.
Bellarmine 78, Cumberlands 57: Cumberlands, ranked No. 9 in NAIA, extended a four-point halftime lead to eight before unraveling in a loss at Bellarmine. Led by junior guard Jeremy Kendle, who scored 19 points on 8-for-11 shooting, the Knights shot 67.7 percent in the second half.
Morehead State 58, Robert Morris 57: The Eagles won their fourth straight road game, holding on to beat Robert Morris. The Colonials had an opportunity to send the game into overtime, but Kristine Silaraja missed a free throw with 0.2 seconds left.
Chynna Bozeman led Morehead with 21 points.
Middle Tennessee 68, Western Kentucky 54: The Blue Raiders' Alysha Clark scored 37 points and Western Kentucky lost its Sun Belt Conference opener in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Dominique Duck scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead Western.
St. Catherine 61, Transylvania 59: Danielle Brown made a steal and hit two free throws with one second left in St. Catherine's win at Transylvania. Both Brown and Brittany Darden scored 19 points.
DePaul 75, No. 10 Florida State 60: Sam Quigley scored 17 points and Anna Martin (Lexington Christian) added 14 to help DePaul hand Florida State its first loss of the season in the second round of the Duel in the Desert at Las Vegas.