SFA Stings Hornets In Tourney Opener
Dec. 10, 2011
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Lumberjacks put together one of its most balanced performances of the year on Saturday, putting 10 players in the scoring column and holding reigning SWAC champion Alabama State to just 13 points in the first half on its way to a convincing 74-48 win on the opening day of the third annual Etech Lumberjack Classic at William R. Johnson Coliseum.
Jereal Scott led the way with a team-high 14 points and 11 rebounds for his sixth double-double of his career, but he was not the only contributor. Taylor Smith added 10 points and six rebounds in just 17 minutes of action as the big-man duo helped SFA (4-3) outscore the Hornets (1-6) 42-12 on points in the paint. All but one of the 11 Lumberjacks who got in the game cracked the scoring column and SFA managed to share the wealth as well, totaling 24 assists on 29 made baskets on the night.
SFA hit half of its shots on the night and held the Hornets to just 5-for-20 from the floor in the first half, not allowing them a made field goal for the final 9:27 of the opening period on its way to taking a comfortable 35-13 lead into the locker room.
Hal Bateman sparked the bench play with five points and eight assists with just one turnover off the bench, and Jacob Parker had his best night as a Lumberjack with a solid five points, eight rebounds and three assists in as the SFA bench outdid the ASU reserves by a 41-10 margin. The `Jacks had four players with at least five rebounds and dominated the glass 45-22 to mark the largest rebound margin for SFA this season.
Scott had 10 of his 14 in the first half, including each of SFA's first two buckets to open the game. Jonathan King gave SFA its first lead with a free throw just over five minutes into the game to open a quick 7-0 run before the Lumberjack defense took over for the remainder of the period. ASU's Luther Page tipped in a missed Hornet shot at the 9:27 mark of the period to pull the Hornets to within two a 15-13, but those were the final points of the half for ASU as SFA outscored the Hornets 16-0 to close out the half.
ASU finally got a field goal nearly two minutes into the second half on a jumper from Ivory White, which triggered an 8-2 Hornet run which drew them to within 15 points, which was as close as it would get for the remainder of the evening. Smith had all 10 of his points in the second half and Kevin Broussard got in on the act from the outside with SFA's only two three-point buckets of the night to help SFA stretch its lead to as much as 29 points at one point.
The `Jacks next take on Isiah Thomas' Florida International Golden Panthers in the tournament conclusion on Sunday at 4:15 p.m. at Johnson Coliseum in the finale of the Etech Classic. FIU dropped a 72-68 nailbiter to Texas Wesleyan in the tournament opener earlier on Saturday afternoon.