Alexander Sparks SFA To Win
Dec. 15, 2007
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Josh Alexander scored a season-high 22 points Saturday to lead the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks to a 56-50 win over San Diego here at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.
The win is SFA's sixth straight, tying the Lumberjacks' best win streak of the 2006-07 season, and extending the program's best start since the 1981-82 season, 8-1. San Diego falls to 5-8 on the season.
After a back-and-forth second half that saw San Diego pull ahead late, Alexander provided the spark SFA needed. He had been forced to the bench with 11 minutes left in the game, when he was whistled for a technical foul, picking up his fourth personal in the process. He stayed out of the game until the four-minute mark, when he returned and made an immediate impact.
On his first possession after re-entering the game, Alexander knocked down a three to put SFA in the lead, 44-43, with 3:10 left. A stop at the other end and two Matt Kingsley free throws gave the Lumberjacks a three-point edge. San Diego sank a pair of foul shots to close to within one, but Alexander pulled down an offensive rebound to keep the ensuing SFA possession alive, then drilled his season-high fifth 3-pointer of the day to put his team back up by four.
Alexander finished the game 8-of-13 from the floor, including a 5-for-8 effort from 3-point range. Kingsley joined him in double digits with 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting. Junior forward Nick Shaw added six points, sophomore point guard Eric Bell had four, senior guard Gerald Fonzie finished with three, and Eddie Williams and Benson Akpan added two points each. Bell dished out six assists in the game.
SFA shot just 36 percent in the first half but forced 11 Torero turnovers and knocked down 3-of-6 3-pointers to take a 21-19 lead to the locker room. Alexander led all scorers in the first half with 10 points behind a 2-for-3 effort from 3-point range. Both threes were scored at critical junctures. The first came after a USD dunk and broke a 13-13 tie, while the second put the 'Jacks ahead, 19-17, with 3:08 left in the half.
The Toreros would tie the game two possessions later, but SFA point guard Eric Bell drove to the paint for a high shot off the glass on the Lumberjacks' last possession of the period to set the halftime margin.
Junior center Benson Akpan provided a big spark in the early going. After Gyno Pomare scored San Diego's first two buckets inside, Akpan came off the bench to defend him and made an immediate impact. He altered a Pomare shot on his first defensive possession, then muscled his way inside for a layup at the other end to give SFA its first lead of the game at 7-6. On the ensuing USD possession, Akpan again blocked Pomare?s shot, this time slapping it off the backboard from behind.
SFA's 21-point first half was the Lumberjacks' second-lowest output in the opening period this season, while the 19 points put up by USD marked the lowest first-half score for an SFA opponent since the Lumberjacks held Southern to 11 points.
The Lumberjacks will be back in action on Friday, Dec. 21, when they host Huston-Tillotson in a 7 p.m. game.