SFA Outguns Lamar
Jan. 17, 2008
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Josh Alexander scored a season-high 26 points Thursday to lead the best long-range shooting performance of the season as the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks defeated Lamar, 81-75, in the William R. Johnson Coliseum. Alexander hit 6-of-11 3-point field goals to pace a 53.3-percent effort by SFA behind the arc.
With the win, the Lumberjacks improve to 14-2 on the season and 2-1 in Southland Conference play. Lamar falls to 7-8 overall with a 1-1 mark in league action.
Lamar took what had been a 19-point lead in the second half and whittled it down to three with 17 seconds left in the game. The Cardinals took advantage of injuries to SFA point guards Eric Bell and Gerald Fonzie to pressure the Lumberjacks into a rash of turnovers and close the gap. But freshman point guard Preston Davis shouldered the load in the closing seconds, helping break the Lamar press and going 2-for-4 from the foul line.
After Davis' second free throw gave SFA a four-point lead at 79-75 with 15 seconds left, Alexander sealed the game by ripping off a steal at midcourt and driving to the basket, where he was fouled. As good as Alexander was from 3-point range, he was even better from 15 feet out, especially when it counted. He was 6-for-6 from the foul stripe, including the final two points of the game with five seconds left.
SFA opened the game with a 52-percent shooting effort in the first half and went to the locker room with a 38-24 advantage, after leading by as many as 17. The Lumberjacks held Lamar to 32 percent from the field in the opening frame, including an 0-for-5 effort from 3-point range. The Cardinals heated up to 58 percent in the second half, behind a 5-of-10 performance on threes, as they climbed back into the game.
The six 3-pointers for Alexander were a season-high and one off a career-high. He hit his first three shots of the game, all three from 3-point range. Junior center Matt Kingsley joined Alexander in double digits with 17 points on 5-for-7 shooting. Kingsley was also 7-for-8 at the free throw line. Fonzie added 10 points on 2-of-4 shooting from 3-point range.
Junior forward Nick Shaw pulled down a game-high seven rebounds to lead an effort that saw SFA beat Lamar, 34-27, on the boards. Bell dished out nine assists before being forced off the floor with an injury midway through the second half. Fonzie chipped in with five assists, tying a season-high, and ripped off a team-best four steals.
SFA will host McNeese State Saturday. The Cowboys are 7-7 on the year after dropping a 64-49 decision at home against Sam Houston State Thusday. Saturday's game is set for a 6 p.m. start.
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