ARLINGTON, Texas -- Sam Houston State rolled up a perfect 5-0 record that included victories against four top 20 nationally ranked teams on the first day of action at the Prairie View Panther Invitational.
The final win of the day also allowed the Bearkats to achieve an SHSU bowling milestone. The Kats and Bearkat head coach Brad Hagen picked up the program’s 300th dual match victory. SHSU is in its fourth season as a NCAA Division I bowling competitor.
“This was just a huge day for us,” Hagen said. “"From the beginning, it was all about focus, resiliency and continuing the momentum we built with our big wins at Arkansas two weeks ago.”
Seven top 20 squads will join the Bearkats in the 12-team field Friday through Sunday at the Prairie View A&M Panther Invitational.
The event is being held in Arlington at the International Training and Research Center lanes, one of the top bowling facilities in the nation. The ITR Center was the site of Sam Houston’s first bowling dual match victory which came against Stephen F. Austin in October, 2010.
Friday in quad baker match play, Sam Houston defeated No. 3 Maryland-Eastern Shore 763-744, tournament host Prairie View 726-686, No. 3 Central Missouri 840-757, No. 6 Nebraska (the defending NCAA national champions) 833-767 and No. 14 Valparaiso 799-759.
Sam Houston leads the total pins standings that will decide the seedings for Sunday’s final day best-of-seven baker bracket action. The Bearkats, the only team to go 5-0 Friday, own a pin fall total of 3,961. Nebraska and Arkansas State, who both went 4-1 Friday, stand second and third with toals of 3,951 and 3,914, respectively.
“Our young ladies were bowling smart with quality shot making,” Hagen said.
Other ranked teams in the field include No. 1 Arkansas State, No. 5 Stephen F. Austin and No. 8.
Sam Houston now owns a 56-26 overall dual match record this season. The Bearkats are 32-27 against teams ranked among the current top 20.