Lumberjacks Hustle for 73-72 win at Lamar
Jan. 11, 2007
BEAUMONT, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks overcame one of their worst shooting nights of the season Thursday by outhustling Lamar and Southland Conference leading scorer James Davis to collect a 73-72 overtime win over the SLC East-leading Cardinals.
SFA shot just 36.4 percent from the field - the Lumberjacks' second-worst showing of the year. But SFA overcame that poor performance by forcing Lamar into 21 turnovers and collecting 17 offensive rebounds. Those hustle stats were turned into 25 points off turnovers and 16 second-chance points for the Lumberjacks, who improved to 10-5 overall and 3-0 in SLC play. The win was SFA's fifth straight. Lamar fell to 7-9 on the season and 1-1 in Southland play.
SFA led by as many as six in the second half and held a five-point advantage with 4:36 left in the game. But Lamar trimmed it to a one-point edge with a free throw and a Brandon Chappell 3-pointer with 2:45 remaining. Josh Alexander made it a two-point game with a free throw at the other end, but Lamar tied the score at 66 when Davis hit a layup with 35 seconds left. Neither team could scratch in the final half-minute, and the game went to overtime.
SFA outscored the Cardinals, 7-6, in the extra period, when SFA shot 43 percent, while holding Lamar to 30 percent. The Cardinals had topped 50 percent from the field in each half of regulation. Alexander led SFA with five points on 2-of-4 shooting in overtime, including the final Lumberjack bucket. He drove right at Davis and laid in a soft shot high off the glass to give SFA a 73-70 lead with 1:29 left.
Davis hit a layup for his game-best 29th point of the night at the other end to cut the lead to one with 55 seconds left. Alexander tried and missed on a 3-pointer with 34 seconds left, and Lamar got three shots to take the lead in the closing moments, but couldn't connect.
Alexander finished with 17 points and eight rebounds to lead the Lumberjacks. Junior forward Kyle Jacobs scored a career-high 14 points and pulled down eight boards of his own, including several key offensive rebounds down the stretch. Junior point guard Gerald Fonzie and senior shooting guard Chaz Dykes also reached double figures with 11 points apiece.
Junior forward Scott Weaver finished with four points and five rebounds, but none of his boards were more crucial than the one he wasn't credited with. On Lamar's last possession in overtime, Chappell missed a jumper that was rebounded and tipped back up by leading rebounder Lamar Sanders. Sanders' tip missed and Davis zeroed in on the carom. But Weaver leapt in front of the bigger man, and the two grabbed the ball at the same time, earning a tie ball that went to the Cardinals on the possession arrow with just under two seconds left. Weaver then denied Davis the ball on the inbounds play, forcing Lamar to take a last-second three that rattled off as the Lumberjacks celebrated a hard-earned win.
The Lumberjacks negated a 34-percent shooting effort in the first half by forcing 12 Lamar turnovers and turning them into 12 points at the other end. SFA also hit five of nine attempts from 3-point range (.556). Fonzie was 2-of-2 on 3-pointers, both times cutting short Cardinal runs. He scored five of his eight first-half points in the final four minutes, helping SFA take a 35-33 lead to the locker room.
The Lumberjacks will be back in action Saturday, when they travel to Lake Charles, La., to take on McNeese State. The game is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start from Burton Coliseum.
- SFA -