NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Stephen F. Austin tied a season-high with 50 rebounds and outscored Northwestern State, 20-9, in second-chance points Wednesday on the way to a 69-59 win over the Demons in Johnson Coliseum. Three Lumberjacks finished with double-digits in the rebounding column, and Eddie Williams bounced back from a two-point performance against Lamar to score a team-leading 18.
The win improves SFA to 17-6 on the year with a Southland Conference East Division-leading 7-3 record against league opponents. Northwestern State falls to 7-15 overall and 2-7 in conference play.
Juniors Orren Tims and Jordan Glynn pulled down 11 and 10 rebounds, respectively, and Jereal Scott finished with 10, giving SFA three players with double-figure rebounds for the first time since the Lumberjacks' 59-51 win at Northwestern State last season. Scott added 14 points, and Glynn scored 11, marking the third time this season for two ‘Jacks to post double-doubles in the same game.
The contest featured 18 lead changes, including 14 in the first half, and SFA never led by more than seven until the closing seconds, despite holding the upper hand for the final 10:53.
A Williams layup gave SFA a 59-52 lead with 4:16 to play, but Northwestern State had the margin whittled down to three (61-58) with 1:42 remaining, after a quick 6-2 run capped by two Damon Jones free throws.
The ‘Jacks countered with a layup by Scott at the other end, followed by a pair of Walt Harris foul shots. The game's leading scorer, Will Pratt, hit the second of two free throws with 49 seconds left to give himself 24 points and bring it back to a six-point margin, but the Demons would not score again. Tims gave SFA an eight-point cushion on a layup with 30 seconds to play, and Harris set the final count with two more free throws at the 12-second mark.
Of the 50 rebounds SFA pulled down, 26 were on offense, setting a new season-high in that category and marking just the second time all season for the ‘Jacks to outnumber their defensive rebounds with offensive boards. The performance came on the heels of SFA's worst rebounding effort of the season. The ‘Jacks pulled down a season-low 22 boards in Saturday's 49-46 loss at Lamar, and the Cardinals finished with a 15-rebound margin, the largest allowed to a Lumberjack foe this season.
Williams, SFA's leading scorer, tallied just two points on one second-half field goal against Lamar, his lowest-scoring performance of the year. With just two points on a 1-for-6 effort in the first half Wednesday, he appeared to be headed for another rough night. But Williams attacked the rim in the second period, when he went 6-for-6 and scored 16 of his 18 points.
The rest of the ‘Jacks followed suit, upping their shooting from 33 percent in the first period to 41 percent after the break. SFA finished at 37.1 percent for the game, its worst shooting percentage in a winning effort this season.
Tims finished with eight points in 16 minutes, and Denzel Barnes went 2-for-4 on 3-pointers to add eight points. Harris finished with six points and tied a career high with four assists. Williams, Barnes and Eric Bell recorded two steals apiece, as SFA forced 18 Northwestern turnovers.
The Lumberjacks will finish the week with a home game against McNeese State Saturday.