Lamar Holds off Lumberjacks
Jan. 12, 2006
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - With senior point guard Marcus Clark sidelined by a back injury in Thursday's game against Lamar, the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack basketball team turned to leading scorer Antuane Miller. The junior forward answered the call and scored a team-high 22 points, including 12 in the game's final 12 minutes. But it wasn't enough to overcome the Cardinals and Southland Conference leading scorer Alan Daniels. Daniels led all players with 24 points, and Lamar hit 9-of-10 free throws down the stretch to hold on for a 70-65 win.
The loss was SFA's first of the year at home in the William R. Johnson Coliseum and dropped the Lumberjacks' season record to 7-6. SFA is now 0-3 in Southland Conference games. Lamar improved to 9-7 with the win and 2-1 in league play.
The Lumberjacks opened the second half down, 39-30, and never managed to take the lead, despite keeping Lamar's advantage to four points or fewer for most of the game's final 10 minutes. SFA got within one point early in the second half when freshman Josh Alexander capped an 8-0 SFA run by hitting back-to-back 3-pointers to make it a 39-38 game. But Alexander picked up his third and fourth personal fouls just two minutes later and had to leave the game. He eventually fouled out with nine points at the 6:29 mark.
Lamar extended its lead back to seven before SFA carved away at it again and closed to within two on a pair of free throws by senior Anthony Paez with 7:05 left. Daniels answered with two free throws of his own, then Miller fired back with a jumper in the lane to keep it a two-point game. But two more Lamar free throws quickly stretched the lead back to four, and with the Cardinals nearly perfect from the stripe in the game's closing minutes, SFA could get no closer.
Paez and sophomore guard Gerald Fonzie each joined Alexander with nine points. Fonzie, playing for the injured Clark, earned his first start of the season and added two assists, five rebounds and a pair of steals to his scoring. Junior guard Keith Hardaway scored five points, junior Chaz Dykes and freshman Jerel Hastings added four points apiece, and junior forward Todd Henry scored three. Miller finished as the game's leading rebounder with eight boards.
The Lumberjacks will be back in action Saturday, when they host McNeese State. The game is scheduled for a 4 p.m. tip in the William R. Johnson Coliseum.
- SFA -