Demarcus Gatlin scored 15 points to lead Sam Houston State to a 72-57 victory over McNeese State in a Southland Conference game on Saturday.

Paul Baxter and Darius Gatson scored 11 each for the Bearkats (10-6, 3-1), and Michael Holyfield pulled down 11 rebounds. Sam Houston State has won seven of its past eight games.

Ledrick Eackles had 18 points and six rebounds and Dontae Cannon scored 10 for the Cowboys (7-8, 1-4).

The game was close early in the second half, with Eackles's 3-pointer pulling the Cowboys to one back, 52-51, with 9:53 left, but the Bearkats' 9-4 run gave them a 59-53 advantage at the 7:07 mark.

Gatlin scored six consecutive points to lift the Bearkats to a 65-55 advantage with 3:34 to go, and they cruised home.

The Bearkats outshot the Cowboys from the field 39 percent (23 of 59) to 33.3 percent (16 of 48).