`Jacks Steamroll Cardinals
Jan. 3, 2013
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks forced a season high 29 turnovers and built a 30-point halftime advantage before finishing off Lamar, 79-43, on Thursday night at the William R. Johnson Coliseum.
SFA (11-1, 2-0 SLC) put a dozen players in the scoring column on its way to its sixth win in a row, and the largest margin of victory over a Division I team this season. Taylor Smith and Deshaunt Walker were the only `Jacks to reach double figures with 10 points apiece, but seven players finished with at least six points.
The 36-point win for SFA was its largest over a conference opponent since becoming a member of the Southland Conference entering the 1987-88 season.
The `Jacks outscored the Cardinals (2-11, 0-1 SLC) 36-2 in points off turnovers, and 24-0 in the opening half, less than a week after LU's narrow 81-80 win over LIU Brooklyn in their first home game of the season. SFA hit 48 percent from the field and ripped down 18 offensive boards, three more than the Cardinals had made field goals.
Smith had 10 points - all in the first half - and six rebounds to lead the way for SFA, and Walker hit a pair of SFA's six three-point buckets to reach double figures for the second time this season. Jacob Parker, Desmond Haymon, Thomas Walkup and Antonio Bostic all finished with nine points apiece while Hal Bateman had four assists and Trey Pinkney added four.
It took less than eight minutes for SFA to open up an 18-6 lead, and did not allow the Cardinals into double figures until the 9:35 mark. But by that time SFA had used eight points from Smith to lead 28-10 and eventually went into the locker room with a 46-16 lead, the most points by SFA in a first half and just two points shy of its largest scoring output in any period this year.
SFA was able to utilize 16 forced turnovers in the opening period and held LU without a field goal for nearly a seven minute span, using all but one of its available players in the first 20 minutes of the game.
The SFA starters played less than eight minutes of the second half before the `Jacks began to use its bench again, keeping the Cardinals at a comfortable margin before the reserves ballooned the lead to as much as 38 at one point in the final half. SFA shot 50 percent from the field in the half and managed to hold all Cardinal scorers to single digits, just the second time they have done that to an opponent this season.
SFA will now put its six-game win streak on the line on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. when it hosts McNeese State at William R. Johnson Coliseum.