Lumberjacks Upset Oklahoma
Dec. 8, 2007
NORMAN, Okla. - Josh Alexander finished with a game-high 19 points at Oklahoma Saturday. But none were bigger than his last two. With 2.4 seconds left on the clock, the junior from Shreveport, La., calmly knocked down a pair of free throws to seal the Lumberjacks' 66-62 win over the Sooners.
The victory is SFA's first against a Big 12 Conference opponent since the Lumberjacks knocked off Baylor on the road in 2003. The win also extends SFA's current streak to five games, including three straight on the road, and ties the Lumberjacks' best start to a season since 1981-82.
"Our guys really played with a lot of heart today," SFA head coach Danny Kaspar said.
The Sooners came into the game shooting .485 from the floor and a red-hot .390 from 3-point range. But SFA held Oklahoma to 40 percent from the field and a season-low 14.3 percent on 3-pointers. The Sooners went 2-for-14 from behind the arc and didn't have a three until late in the second half.
"Our guys have really bought into the theory that if they play hard on defense, we can compete with these schools from major conferences," Kaspar said.
While the Lumberjacks were barely better from the floor at 40.8 percent, they connected on seven 3-pointers, including some clutch shots by Alexander and Gerald Fonzie against a tough Sooner zone look late in the game.
Fonzie was 3-for-3 from downtown and finished with 10 points, one of four Lumberjacks in double figures. Junior center Matt Kingsley scored 16 points, and sophomore point guard Eric Bell finished within striking distance of a triple-double with 12 points, nine assists and seven rebounds.
Alexander's game-clinching free throws capped a 6-for-10 effort for SFA at the stripe down the stretch. Oklahoma began intentionally fouling SFA with more than a minute left on the clock. SFA went 19-of-24 from the line for the game.
After a slow start, the first half became a neck-and-neck race that saw the lead change hands 11 times. SFA took control late in the period on the strength of Alexander's scoring. He wrapped a pair of 3-pointers around a Bell steal to lead a run that put the Lumberjacks ahead by seven with 1:42 remaining. The Lumberjacks would lead by as many as nine points and did not surrender their advantage the entire second half.
Alexander finished the first half with 13 points, the fourth time this season he's put up double figures in the opening frame.
Oklahoma's leading scorer, Blake Griffin, had just three points in the first half after spending most of the period on the bench with two early fouls. Griffin finished with 10 points. The Sooners were led by 19 points from center Longar Longar.
The home loss was just Oklahoma's second in its last 60 non-conference games at Lloyd Noble Center.
SFA will return to action on Saturday, Dec. 15, when the Lumberjacks play at San Diego. The game is set to tip at 3 p.m. central standard time.
-- SFA --