Bearkats Rally Past SFA
Jan. 18, 2007
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack basketball team saw a 10-point lead evaporate in the last five minutes Thursday, as Sam Houston State rallied for a 55-52 win in the William R. Johnson Coliseum. SFA led by as many as 13 in the second half and held a 52-42 advantage when the Bearkats started their charge with 4:12 remaining. But, led by nine points from Ryan Bright in the closing minutes, and a tenacious defensive effort all around, Sam Houston outscored SFA, 13-0, down the stretch to secure the win.
The loss snapped a six-game winning streak for the Lumberjacks (11-6), their longest such run since the 2002-03 season. It also staunched SFA's perfect start in Southland Conference play, leaving the Lumberjacks at 4-1 against league competition. Sam Houston, SFA's rival in the SLC West Division, improved to 12-6 overall and 4-1 in conference play.
Bright's scoring flurry in the final minutes capped a 22-point 10-rebound night that led all players. He entered the game as one of just two players to be ranked in the Top 4 in both scoring and rebounding in the Southland Conference. No other Bearkat scored more than seven points Thursday.
SFA added fuel to Bright's late-game fire by committing four turnovers in the game's final five minutes. On the night, the Lumberjacks turned it over 22 times, leading to 22 Sam Houston points. Despite SFA beating the Bearkats on the boards, 45-30, Sam Houston held a 7-6 edge in second-chance points.
SFA shot just 38.3 percent for the game, and the Lumberjacks' 63.6-percent effort at the foul stripe tied for their third-worst showing of the season. The SFA centers led the way in the scoring column. Senior Antuane Miller paced the Lumberjacks with 16 points, and sophomore Matt Kingsley scored 12. Senior guard Will Johnson pulled down a career-high eight rebounds to lead the Lumberjacks and go along with his five points. Miller hauled in seven boards.
The Lumberjacks will have the weekend off before they try to bounce back with a road game at Texas State. The game against the Bobcats is set for Jan. 25 at 7 p.m., in San Marcos, Texas.
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