Sam Houston advances past Texas A&M-CC 69-63

The Associated Press
Sam Houston advances past Texas A&M-CC 69-63
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Texas A&M-CC's Rashawn Thomas (25) is fouled by Sam Houston State's Jabari Peters (1) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the semifinal round of the Southland Conference tournament Friday, March 14, 2014, in Katy. (AP Photo/Bob Levey)

KATY, Texas (AP) -- Kaheem Ransom scored 15 points as third-seeded Sam Houston State made its free throws down the stretch to beat No. 2 seed Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 69-63 in a semifinal in the Southland Conference tournament on Friday.

Sam Houston State (23-9) will face top-seed Stephen F. Austin in the final on Saturday.

The Bearkats used a 12-0 run midway through the first half, including Will Bond's 3-pointer, to take a 39-29 lead into the break.

Texas A&M-CC (17-15) cut its deficit to five with 8:06 left in the game after a 9-0 run - with seven of those points coming at the foul line - but got no closer. The Islanders were forced to foul late to try to get within reach, but Sam Houston hit 13 of 16 free throws down the stretch - including 11 straight - to protect its lead.

Hameed Ali led the Islanders with 12 points.