Marcus James scored 16 points and pulled down eight rebounds to lead Sam Houston State as the Bearkats fell to Notre Dame 74-41 Wednesday night in the first round of the Progressive College Basketball Experience tournament.
Pat Connaughton led the Irish with 24 points and Jerian Grant added 17 as Notre Dame upped its season record to 3-0. Sam Houston dropped to 1-1 for the year.
Notre Dame never trailed in the contest, but the Bearkats pulled within one point, 15-14, on a jumper by Aaron Harwell with 8:29 remaining in the first half.
The Irish finished the half with a 23-2 run to go into the locker room ahead 38-16. Sam Houston could come no closer than 19 points in the second period.
Freshman post player Michael Holyfield score six points and grabbed eight rebounds.
The Bearkats hit 34 percent from field (18 of 53) and scored on only three of 15 three point attempts. Sam Houston went to the free throw line five times hitting three.
Notre Dame was 27-of-51 for 53 percent shooting from the floor with 10 three pointers. The Irish held a narrow 34-32 edge on the boards.