Southeastern Edges Lumberjacks
Jan. 7, 2006
HAMMOND, La. - The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack basketball team rallied to nearly erase double-digit deficits at the end of each half of its game against Southeastern Louisiana on Saturday. SFA pruned a 10-point lead down to two near the end of the first period, and cut an 11-point advantage to one point with time running out in the final frame. But the Lumberjacks couldn't manage to take the lead either time and wound up on the losing side of a 75-73 final score.
The loss was SFA's third straight and dropped the Lumberjacks to 7-5 on the season and 0-2 in Southland Conference action. It concluded a two-game road swing in Louisiana.
After Southeastern Louisiana opened an 11-point lead (65-54) on a layup by leading scorer Ricky Woods with 9:40 left in the game, SFA's leading scorer Antuane Miller went to work. The junior forward scored six of the Lumberjacks' next nine points, as SFA went on a 9-0 run to trim the Lions' lead to two (65-63) with 6:28 left. Quennell Green answered with his fifth 3-pointer of the night to stretch the advantage back out to five.
SFA kept it close down the stretch and got within one point (72-71) on a 3-pointer by sophomore guard Gerald Fonzie with 1:46 to play. Woods answered with a jumper, but SFA junior Keith Hardaway fired back a jumper of his own at the other end to make it a 74-73 game with 14 seconds left. SFA was forced to foul Woods, who hit the first of two free throws to make it a two-point game. After his second foul shot rattled off the rim, SFA rebounded and advanced the ball quickly, but a 3-point attempt by senior forward Anthony Paez fell just short, and time expired.
Miller finished as the Lumberjacks' leading scorer with 18 points. Hardaway was the only other SFA player to reach double figures. He finished with 10 on 4-of-6 shooting. Senior point guard Marcus Clark scored seven points before an injury he sustained in a collision forced him to the bench for the last five minutes of the first half and all but one minute in the second frame. Fonzie played well in his stead, finishing with nine points to tie a career-high. The sophomore also recorded two assists and committed just one turnover in 24 minutes of action. Paez also finished with nine points, and freshman guard Josh Alexander added eight.
SLU's Green led all scorers with 22 points. He was 5-of-7 from 3-point range. Three other Lions reached double figures. Woods finished with 14 points after SFA held the high-scoring forward to just four in the first half.
SFA out-rebounded the Lions, 32-30, and forced 12 turnovers while giving up just nine. The Lumberjacks also rebounded from two straight poor shooting performances to hit 48.3 percent of their shots. But SLU hit 55.3 percent from the floor. SFA did itself no favors at the foul stripe, where the Lumberjacks were 11-of-20 for the game.
SFA will try to rebound Thursday, when the Lumberjacks host Lamar in a Southland Conference game. The contest is set for a 7 p.m. start from the William R. Johnson Coliseum.
- SFA -