'Jacks Seek Win Column With Two Game Homestand
Jan. 13, 2004
GETTING EVEN: Stephen F. Austin returns to the William R. Johnson Coliseum Thursday night looking to even its conference record at 1-1, playing host to McNeese State. The 'Jacks dropped a 64-63 decision to Northwestern State last Thursday to open the conference season with a loss for the first time under Danny Kaspar. SFA is now 3-1 in SLC openers under Kaspar and has now lost three straight on the road. The Lumberjacks opened the 2002-03 conference season by winning 10 straight before a loss to UT-Arlington, and finished the year 16-4. Including Thursday night's game with McNeese State, SFA has four of its next five games at home, where the 'Jacks have won 21 in a row. SFA has not started a conference season 0-2 since 1997-98, when the 'Jacks started out 0-6 en route to a 6-10 SLC mark.
LAST GAME: Northwestern State snapped a four game losing streak to the Lumberjacks with a 64-63 win over SFA in Natchitoches, La. The Lumberjacks struggled in the first half of play shooting only .281 (9-32) from the field. SFA went ice cold for a 7:52 stretch, going 0-14 from the field without scoring a point. During that time, Northwestern State built as much as an 11-point lead. The 'Jacks managed to cut the lead back to seven, 30-23 at the half. SFA shot the ball much better in the second half, but wasted several opportunities to take the lead before F Antonio Burks hit one of six three's on the night to put the 'Jacks ahead with 7:52 to play. The teams traded the lead several times before Burks hit another three with :25 to go to give SFA a 63-62 lead. Keenan Jones then drove the lane, but missed a layup for the Demons. Byron Allen was fouled as he pulled down the offensive rebound and made both free throws to give Northwestern State a 64-63 win. Burks scored 25 points for the 'Jacks and had a career high six three pointers in the game.
VS. McNEESE STATE: McNeese State leads the overall series, 33-28 and has won seven of the last 10 meetings between the two teams. The 'Jacks are 10-20 against the Cowboys since joining the Southland Conference. The teams split last season's series with each winning on its home floor.
THE COWBOYS: McNeese State enters the game at 4-9, 0-2. The Cowboys lost 84-78 Saturday to Northwestern State, in Lake Charles. Edward Garriet leads the Cowboys averaging 15.6 points per game. Greg Tucker is averaging 10.0 ppg. Jerrick Oliver leads McNeese State on the boards pulling down 6.4 rpg. McNeese State is shooting .424 from the field and .341 from outside the three point stripe while allowing opponents to shoot .483 from the field. The Cowboys are being outrebounded by one board per game. McNeese State has lost two straight and eight of its last nine games. The Cowboys are 0-7 on the road this season.
THE COACHES: The Lumberjacks are coached by Danny Kaspar (271-95) in his fourth year with the Lumberjacks. Kaspar is 52-43 at SFA. The fourth year head moved past Stan McKewen on the all-time wins list in seventh place, at 50 with the win over Cameron. Next on the list is Glen Rose with 56 wins at SFA. Kaspar is 1-5 against the Cowboys. The Cowboys are coached by Tic Price, in his third year at McNeese State. Price is 41-32 with the Cowboys and led McNeese State to the NIT in 2001.
UP NEXT: The 'Jacks host Southeastern Louisiana Saturday in the coliseum before going on the road Jan. 22 to take on UL-Monroe.