RUSTON, La. (AP) Kavian Gaither returned a fourth-quarter interception for a touchdown, Sam Houston scored four rushing touchdowns and the Conference USA newcomer Bearkats picked up their first conference win, 42-27 over Louisiana Tech on Saturday.

The Bearkats (2-8, 1-6) are in their second season at the FBS level after spending the first season in the Western Athletic Conference. They never trailed in this one but their lead that twice had been 15 points was down to one score before Gaither intercepted a Hank Bachmeier pass and returned it 45 yards for a touchdown with about two minutes left in the game.

In addition to the pick-6, Gaither led the Bearkats with eight solo tackles and 12 total stops.

Keegan Shoemaker was 18-of-28 passing for 269 yards with one touchdown for the Bearkats. Issiah Nixon had two rushing touchdowns and Adrian Murdaugh and Shoemaker had one each. Noah Smith had six catches for 115 yards and Jax Sherrard caught six for 102 yards, including an 8-yard touchdown.

Bachmeier was 28-of-41 for 361 yards for the Bulldogs (3-8, 2-5) but was intercepted twice. Cyrus Allen caught six for 132 yards that included a 35-yard TD pass thrown by fellow receiver Kyle Maxwell.

--- Get alerts on the latest AP Top 25 poll throughout the season. Sign up here --- AP college football: and

Copyright 2024 STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.