Walkup Nets Career-High In Etech Win
Dec. 6, 2013
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin men's basketball team got 20 points from junior guard Thomas Walkup and 18 apiece from seniors Nikola Gajic and Desmond Haymon, as the Lumberjacks extended their current home winning streak to 21 games with a 79-69 victory over Towson on the first day of the Etech Classic inside William R. Johnson Coliseum.
Tied 60-60 with 5:43 remaining, SFA (7-2) got 12 points from Haymon and closed on a 19-9 run to hold off the Tigers (6-3) and remain unblemished at home since the 2011-12 season. The `Jacks have not lost in Nacogdoches since Feb. 15, 2012, against Texas-Arlington.
SFA placed four `Jacks in double figures in all, as both Walkup and Gajic scored career-highs. Walkup finished 6-of-11 from the field, with a made three-pointer, and 7-of-8 from the free throw line in 27 minutes played. Gajic was 5-of-8 from the field, recording a game-high four buckets from beyond the arc and three steals in 26 minutes. Haymon and Jacob Parker (14) rounded out the double-digit scoring performances with strong second halves. Haymon finished with 14 points on seven shots made from both the field and the charity stripe, while Parker netted three shots from the floor and all four of his free throws.
Sophomore point guard Trey Pinkney recorded a career-high eight assists on the night, while adding two defensive rebounds. Parker led the team with five pull-downs.
As a team, SFA shot a season-high 78.8 percent from the free throw line and dominated points off of turnovers with a 25-8 advantage on 31 turnovers forced. The `Jacks also held a 9-4 mark in fast-break points and an 8-6 edge in second-change opportunities.
SFA jumped out to an early lead with a 20-9 run, as Walkup recorded 11 points in the first six minutes played.
After a layup from Parker (10:31) made it 26-19, TU held the `Jacks without a field goal for 5:04 until Gajic hit a three-point with 5:27 remaining in the half. During the five and a half minute stretch, the Tigers scored 14 unanswered points to take a four-point lead before Gajic's shot pulled SFA within one (30-29).
The `Jacks trailed into the final minute of the half, until Gajic drained another from beyond the arc with 46 seconds remaining to give SFA a 40-38 lead going into the break.
Up 47-42 early in the second half, the `Jacks again found themselves on the wrong end of a 10-0 run and trailed by eight points (59-51) with 8:56 to play. However, SFA quickly refound its edge and limited TU to one free throw as it closed the gap on 19-1 run to tie it up at 60 all.
The `Jacks will have a quick turn around, taking on James Madison Saturday, Dec. 7, at 8:15 p.m. in a televised and final game of the Etech Classic. The game will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet Houston.