Ladyjacks Use Second-Half Rally to Defeat Missouri
Dec. 8, 2007
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Stephen F. Austin Ladyjack basketball team trailed Missouri by 18 points with 18:50 remaining in the game, but outscored the Tigers, 50-32, the rest of regulation to force the game into overtime. The Ladyjacks got a career-high 25 points from senior Nikki Carr as SFA completed the comeback in overtime finishing off Missouri, 84-81. The victory, SFA's second consecutive, propels the Ladyjacks to 3-5 on the season, while the Tigers fall to 5-4.
The Ladyjacks struggled early in the game, knocking down only 10-of-35 (.286) from the floor, including a five-minute drought which allowed Missouri to extend its lead from six points to 14 with only 5:16 remaining in the opening half. Missouri pushed its lead to 17 points with only 44 seconds remaining in the half. But SFA was able to close out the half with a positive note, as Carr knocked down an off-balance three-pointer at the buzzer to send SFA into the locker room down by 14 points.
During the break, SFA head coach Lee Ann Riley decided to improve the Ladyjacks' fortunes offensively, by turning to the defense. The Ladyjacks' defensive pressure came to life in the second half, which seemed to spark the SFA offense. The Ladyjacks forced Missouri into 16 turnovers which SFA was able to convert into 23 points. The rally had begun.
SFA went on a 15-4 run to pull within six points, 47-41. And although Missouri continued to win the battle on the glass, SFA wasn't allowing Missouri as many attempts at grabbing the rebound. After being one-and-done in the first half, SFA torched the Mizzou Arena nets knocking down of 16-of-28 (.571) second half-shots, including a season-best nine three pointers.
Junior Jessica Gaines put an exclamation point on the rally when she knocked down a 26-foot jump shot from the top of the circle to tie the game and send it into overtime. Gaines finished the game with 13 points and five rebounds. The 13-point effort tied a career-high and marked the second-straight game that Gaines has recorded double figures.
SFA jumped out to a four-point lead in the overtime period and never surrendered the advantage. The Ladyjacks outscored Missouri, 8-5, in the extra stanza to hold on for the victory.
Junior Natashia Green chipped in 13 points, but left the game late with an injury to her left knee. Freshman Jordan Ford added 10 points and seven rebounds. Along with Carr's 25 points, she also pulled down seven rebounds, dished out four assists and recorded two steals.
The Tigers were led by Jessra Johnson's 21 points and 13 rebounds. Shakara Jones added 17 points and nine rebounds.
SFA finished the game 28-of-70 (.400) from the floor, while Missouri finished below 40 percent. UM outrebounded SFA, 52-44, but SFA was able to pull down the boards late in the game when it mattered.
SFA will take nine days off before returning to the court. The Ladyjacks will host Auburn Monday, Dec. 17. The game against the Tigers is slated to begin at 7 p.m. from the William R. Johnson Coliseum. -SFA-