SFA Blasts Bears
Feb. 7, 2013
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks got 21 points and eight rebounds from Taylor Smith and doubled up Central Arkansas, 72-36, on Thursday at William R. Johnson Coliseum to complete the season sweep of the Bears.
UCA (9-12, 4-7 SLC) put up 69 points on the `Jacks (19-2, 10-1 SLC) in the teams' first meeting in Conway, the most allowed by SFA this season, but it was a different story from the start on Thursday as SFA raced out to a double-digit lead in the first 10 minutes of the game and held the Bears to 16 points less than their previous season low.
"I thought it was a very good defensive performance for us tonight," head coach Danny Kaspar said. "We took care of the ball well and played with good energy. This is a good win and now we can look ahead to Saturday against Oral Roberts."
Smith needed just 27 minutes of court time to total his 21 points and eight boards, hitting nine of 10 shots from the floor and adding three rejections. The `Jacks outscored the Bears 48-18 in the paint and turned 20 UCA turnovers into 27 points, helping negate just a 1-for-16 night shooting from behind the arc.
With the win, coupled with Northwestern State's win over Oral Roberts earlier in the evening in Natchitoches, the `Jacks currently stand alone atop the Southland Conference with a 10-1 league mark. SFA will host the Golden Eagles on Saturday in Nacogdoches in a game to be broadcast on Comcast Sports Net Houston.
Smith was not the only `Jack in double figures as Desmond Haymon added 10 points and eight rebounds, all of which came in the opening half. Jacob Parker just missed double figures with nine points and was one of 11 Lumberjacks to crack the scoring column on a night when Kaspar was able to play everyone available on his roster.
SFA shot 46.7 percent from the field and canned 15 of its 22 foul shots, while holding the Bears to a season-low 31.3 percent from the field. Moreso, the `Jacks held the scoring trio of Jarvis Garner, Robert Crawford and LaQuentin Miles to just 22 points after they averaged better than 46 points per game as a group entering the night. Garner led the Bears with 13 points on the night, hitting five of his 12 shots from the floor.
Smith had 10 of his 21 points in the opening eight minutes of the ballgame, hitting five of his first six shots and helping the `Jacks race out to an early 18-4 lead on the Bears. The lead swelled to as much as 24 at 36-12 when Antonio Bostic found Smith for a layup in what proved to be the final field goal of the half for the `Jacks as UCA closed out the half on a 9-2 run that included a triple from Garner with less than 10 seconds to play in the period.
But SFA wasted no time getting out to a fast start in the second half, outscoring UCA 26-4 to open the half in and holding the Bears without a field goal for a span of 11:04. The lead eventually got up to as much as 38 on a pair of foul shots from Jared Harrison before eventually settling with a 36-point margin of victory, a mark that ties SFA's 79-43 win over Lamar in the league opener as SFA's largest margin of victory in a league game since joining the Southland Conference.
The `Jacks can now look ahead to Saturday's date with Oral Roberts with tip scheduled for 6:05 p.m. at the William R. Johnson Coliseum.