Ladyjacks Advance to SLC Finals
March 7, 2002
NACOGDOCHES - The Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks advanced to the Southland Conference Championship game with a 78-53 victory over Southeastern Louisiana Thursday night in the William R. Johnson Coliseum. The Ladyjacks improve to 23-5 (.821) on the season.
For the second consecutive game the Ladyjacks started slow against Southeastern Louisiana, not scoring their first basket until the 17-minute, 17-second mark of the first half on a layup by junior Amy Collins (San Antonio, Texas). But the Lady Lions didn't back down, pushing their four-point advantage to eight behind Velicity Burkhalter's team-high 17 points.
SFA fought back to grab a two-point lead, 29-27, at the 3:23 mark of the first half. Collins was key in the Ladyjack come back, scoring 10 first-half points and pulling down five rebounds. She finished with a game-high 18 points while grabbing seven rebounds. Collins also added two blocks to move alone into second place on the school's single-season list (49). The Ladyjacks held the lead, going into halftime up three, 34-31.
The Ladyjacks looked like the fresher team in the second half pushing the lead to nine points less four minutes into the second stanza. First-team All-SLC selection Chaquita Dilworth (Temple, Texas) had another big night for SFA scoring 16 points and pulling down a team-high nine rebounds.
The Lady Lions tried to keep things close with Dana Noto's 11 points but it wasn't enough as SFA extended the advantage to as many as 27 in the second half on senior Nicole Guild's (Flower Mound, Texas) 12 points on 5-of-10 (.500) shooting. Senior Latisha Prater's (Cottonport, La.) string of five consecutive double-doubles came to an end Thursday night as she scored 10 points but managed only seven rebounds in 22 minutes of action.
The Ladyjacks return to action Saturday against Northwestern State to play for the Southland Conference tournament championship and the automatic bid to the NCAA Championships. The game will tipoff at 3:30 p.m., from the William R. Johnson Coliseum.
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