'Jacks Advance To SLC FInals With 67-58 Win
March 12, 2003
NACOGDOCHES, Texas -- The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (21-7) advanced to the finals of the Southland Conference Tournament presented by Audiovox Wednesday night with a 67-58 win over the number four seeded, Southwest Texas Bobcats (17-12). With the win, SFA will make its first ever appearance in the tournament finals as a member of the Southland Conference, facing regular season champion and top seed, Sam Houston. The winner of the Friday afternoon match-up will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Game time for the championship game is set for 3:30, with the game to be televised on ESPN2.
The 'Jacks picked up their 21st win of the year Wednesday night over a determined Southwest Texas squad that knocked UL-Monroe in the opening round of the tourney Monday night, in overtime. Southwest Texas held the lead for the opening minutes of the game, leading by as many as six points, 14-8, following two straight three pointers by Brady Richeson. The 'Jacks cut the lead back to one at 14-13 on a three pointer from Antonio Burks minutes later and eventually took the lead and closed the half on a 17-8 run to build an 11-point halftime lead, 37-26.
Southwest Texas stormed out of the dressing in the second half and went on a 14-3 run of its own to tie the score at 40-40 with 15:08 remaining in the game. The teams exchanged baskets for the next several minutes with neither team able to shake the other until B.J. Banks drilled a long three pointer from the left win with 7:38 to play to give the 'Jacks the lead at 53-50.
Percy Green led SFA with 16 points on seven of nine shooting, while Antonio Burks also added 11. Stevin Ozier led the 'Jacks on the glass with seven rebounds as SFA outrebounded Southwest Texas 33-29 for the game.
Terry Conerway led the Bobcats with 20 points while Brady Richeson added 11 points off the bench. Conerway also led all rebounders in the game with 10, for a double-double.
SFA, the number two seed in the SLC Postseason Tournament presented by Audiovox travels to Sam Houston Friday to take on the top seeded Bearkats at 3:30 p.m. in the championship game. SFA and Sam Houston split the season series with each team winning by seven points on its home floor.