KATY, Texas (AP) — Dakarai Henderson scored 16 points and John Dewey III had 15, with six in the last two minutes, and fifth-seeded Sam Houston State held off eighth-seeded Central Arkansas 77-69 in a Southland Conference Tournament opener on Wednesday night.

The Bearkats led 49-35 at the half but the Bears rallied, closing to 66-64 on a Mathieu Kamba layup with 3:07 to play. Chris Galbreath Jr. made a free throw for Sam Houston and after a turnover, Dewey drove down the right side of the lane and banked in a floater to make it 69-64 with 1:56 to go. After another turnover, Dewey had a similar shot to make it 71-64 and he added two free throws in the final minute.

Sam Houston plays fourth-seeded Houston Baptist in the second round on Thursday.

Henderson had all of his points in the first half when Sam Houston (20-12) had season highs for 3-pointers (eight) and points. However, the Bearcats only made one 3 in the second half but finished 20 of 25 from the foul line.

Kamba had 21 points, Jordan Howard 18 and Derreck Brooks 14 with 10 boards for the Bears (8-24), who ended the season with six-straight losses.