Kaheem Ransom hit four straight free throws in the final 13 seconds to allow Sam Houston State to hold off Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 78-74 Thursday night.
Rashawn Thomas' tip-in with 12 seconds left pulled the Islanders within a point, 75-74, but Brandon Pye fouled Ransom behind the arc and he converted all three free throws to close out the scoring.
The Bearkats maintained their hold on second place in the Southland Conference, two games back of Stephen F. Austin, knocking Texas A&M-CC into fourth, a game behind Nicholls in the loss column.
James Thomas scored 17 points to lead Sam Houston State (15-6, 7-2 Southland) while Michael Holyfield grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds as the Bearkats out-rebounded the Islanders 38-26. Paul Baxter contributed 12 points and Ransom finished with 11.
Jeff Beverly scored 15 points and John Jordan added another 14 to lead Texas A&M-CC (9-13, 6-3).