Bobcats Claw SFA
March 13, 2003
NACOGDOCHES - A six-day layoff seemed to hurt the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjack basketball team as they got out to a sluggish start Thursday, eventually falling to fourth-seeded Southwest Texas, 64-56, in the semifinals of the Southland Conference Championships presented by AudioVox. The Ladyjacks finish the season 15-13 (.536) overall.
Neither team was shooting lights out early in the first half as the Ladyjacks were hit only one of their first four shots, while the Bobcats were only one of their first eight. But the Bobcats eventually warmed up and took a 15-4 advantage with 10:12 remaining in the first half. Southwest Texas was aided by 12 first-half turnovers by the Ladyjacks, and SWT made the home team pay scoring 15 points off the turnovers. But despite their struggles, SFA battled back to within five, 30-25, at the break led by freshman Kirby Killingsworth's (Longview, Texas) eight first half points on a perfect 3-of-3 shooting. She finished the game with 17 points.
The Ladyjacks tightened up on defense in the second half holding Southwest Texas to a 10-of-31 (.323) performance and cut the lead to one, 52-51, with only 5:17 remaining. But the Ladyjacks were hurt by 22 turnovers and their inability to keep Tori Talbert off the glass. The 2003 league player of the year finished the game with 20 points and 25 rebounds. On the night, Southwest Texas outrebounded SFA, 51-34.
The SFA loss to the Bobcats was only its second loss in Southland Conference tournament history. The only other loss came during the 1997 SLC Championship game to Southwest Texas.
Senior Nathesia Wright (Arlington, Texas) finished her SFA career with 20 points on 6-of-13 shooting. Classmate Yolanda Grant (Flatonia, Texas) finished the night with four points and two rebounds. Senior Amy Collins closed out her career with three rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal. Collins will leave SFA as the school's single-game (8), single-season (91) and career (175) leader in blocks. -SFA-