Ladyjacks Survive a Scare
March 6, 2006
NACOGDOCHES - The Stephen F. Austin Ladyjack basketball team led for only 12.2 seconds of their first round Southland Conference game, but it was just enough to outlast Lamar, 54-53, Monday night. The one-point victory propelled the top-seeded Ladyjacks (21-7) to the conference semifinals to face No. 5 seed Louisiana-Monroe. The eighth-seeded Lady Cardinals end the season with an 11-16 overall record.
The Lady Cardinals jumped out to a 12-3 advantage in the first four minutes and carried the momentum into the locker room. Lamar pushed its advantage to as many as 12 points in the opening half before the Ladyjacks rallied to cut the lead to five, 34-29, heading into the intermission.
On several occasions the Ladyjacks cut the lead to two points in the second half, but Lamar thwarted every SFA attempt to take the lead by either forcing a turnover or coming up with a key rebound. Lamar grabbed 45 boards on the night, to out rebound the Ladyjacks by two.
It appeared that senior LaToya Mills' 16-point, 14-rebound effort was going to be wasted, but the Ladyjacks made final push for the lead. SFA finally drew even with Lamar at the 1:26 mark when senior Britany Vinson knocked down a layup to tie the score at 53. Vinson finished the game with 10 points, six rebounds and four assists.
The Ladyjacks outscored Lamar only 1-0 over the final 1:26 of the game but it was enough for the victory. After alternating turnovers, sophomore Nikki Carr was fouled with 12.2 seconds. The Hawkins, Texas product hit 1-of-2 free throws to give SFA a one-point lead. Lamar's upset bid went by the boards when it was unable to score a bucket in the closing seconds.
One key stat for SFA was points off turnovers. The Ladyjacks forced Lamar into 16 miscues, which they cashed in for 19 points. SFA turned the ball over 14 times on the night, but limited Lamar to only eight points.
The Ladyjacks return to action Wednesday to host fifth-seeded Louisiana-Monroe in the semifinals of the O'Reilly Auto Parts SLC Championships. The game is slated to tip off at 7 p.m. from the William R. Johnson Coliseum.