Second-Half Rally Comes Up Short
Feb. 3, 2007
NACOGDOCHES - The Stephen F. Austin Ladyjack basketball team trailed by as many 15 points in the second half, and appeared to tie the game with only seconds on the clock before a questionable call by the officials ended any chance of an SFA comeback. Texas-San Antonio held on to defeat SFA, 61-55, Saturday night in front of one of the biggest crowds at the William R. Johnson Coliseum this season. The loss drops SFA to 14-8 on the year, and 6-3 in the Southland Conference.
The Ladyjacks struggled from the floor offensively to open the game, being held scoreless for the first 5:05 of the contest. The `Runners took advantage of the SFA struggles to jump out to a 7-0 lead. The Ladyjacks got on the scoreboard when senior Jennifer Simpson hit consecutive free throws at the 14:55 mark. It took SFA another 1:21 before it knocked down it first field goal of the game.
Despite connecting on only one of its first 13 attempts, the Ladyjacks trailed by only one, 11-10, midway through the opening half. The Ladyjacks appeared in control of the game gaining its first advantage, 15-14, with 8:05 remaining before halftime. But UTSA responded by going on a 14-6 run over the next 5:04 of the half to take an eight-point lead. The `Runners pushed their lead to 10 points heading into the locker room, 32-22.
Despite shooting only 23 percent in the first half, turning the ball over eight times and only forcing UTSA into four, the Ladyjacks were still within striking distance. The Ladyjacks immediately cut the lead to six points, less than two minutes into the second half, but UTSA responded once again.
The `Runners built their lead to as many as 14 points, before SFA would battle back to cut the lead to single digits. UTSA then rattled off seven-straight points to take their biggest lead of the game, 51-36, with only 7:16 remaining.
The Ladyjacks then mounted their biggest charge of the contest. The Ladyjacks went on an 11-0 run, behind 12 second-half points from senior Evelyn Edwards, to cut the lead to four. SFA kept the pressure on the Roadrunners pulling to within a point with 35 seconds on the clock. After UTSA's Monica Gibbs could only hit one-of-two free throws, SFA got the ball back trailing by only two and 28 seconds on the clock.
Freshman Martina Holloway drove down the center of the lane and dished the ball to Edwards who knocked down a three-foot jumper to tie the game, which brought the fans to their feet. But the crowd was quickly silenced when the basket was waved off due to a charge called against Holloway. UTSA closed the game by hitting its final four free throws to put the game away.
Edwards finished the game with 16 points and nine rebounds. Classmate Charity Egenti fouled out of the game, but still scored 11 points and 10 rebounds. Junior Nikki Carr also posted solid numbers scoring 11 points and grabbing seven rebounds.
The Ladyjacks return to action Thursday when they host conference newcomer Central Arkansas. The game against the Sugar Bears is slated to begin at 7 p.m., from the William R. Johnson Coliseum.