NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Four Ladyjacks had at least a dozen points and SFA scored 57 points in the second half to get past UT-Pan American, 96-67, on Wednesday night at William R. Johnson Coliseum for its first win of the season and the first win for head coach Brandon Schneider at SFA.
Tammara Marion led all Ladyjacks (1-5) with 21 points, including five three-point buckets, but it was a 13-0 run by SFA after UTPA e up at 43 apiece in the second half that gave SFA the breathing room it needed to eventually put the game away.
SFA shot nearly 50 percent for the night and was able to turn 27 Bronc turnovers into 33 points in nearly hitting the 100-point mark for the fourth consecutive time in the series against UTPA. Freshman Sha Turner also turned in a breakout performance, going for 17 points off the bench while Courtney Conwright made a living off of quality lob passes into the post against a fronting defense and finished with a career-best 11 assists.
Jordan Ford added a dozen points as well, and Decreasha Goodner finished with 16 points and a team-best eight rebounds along with three assists and a trio of steals.
The Broncs got 21 points apiece from guards Ce'Monay Newe nearly got a triple-double from Erin Lewis who was just two points shy of it with eight points along with 10 rebounds and 10 assists; however, the Broncs came in averaging better than 20 attempts and nine makes from beyond the arc and were held to just 4-of-9 shooting from distance for the game, and just 1-for-2 in the second half, by the Ladyjack defense.
"I thought that was a real key tonight for us," Schneider said following his first SFA win. "That was a team that we knew lived and died by the three and we defended it well. We also finally turned some turnovers into points, which in the first five games had really been the other way around."
SFA never trailed in the contest, jumping out to a 12-0 lead to open up the game with seven of Goodner's 16 points of the night coming in the first four minutes of the ontinued to keep a firm hold on its comfortable lead through the majority of the first half, leading by as much as 18 with just over eight minutes to go when a layup from Ford forced a UTPA timeout.
But that timeout sparked an 11-2 Bronc run that cut the lead to single digits, and a 7-2 run in the last two minutes of the half cut the advantage to just six for SFA as the teams headed to the break.
UTPA stayed hot out of the locker room as well, hitting for eight of the first 10 points of the half and finally tying the game up on a short-corner jumper from Lewis less than two minutes into the second period. But after the teams traded buckets, Conwright knifed through the defense for an uncontested layup that started a 13-0 run for the Ladyjacks that included buckets from five different players.
From there SFA extended the lead to as much as 31 just before the buzzer sounded with a balanced diet of points from both inside and outside with three-pointers from Marion, Goodner and Cheyenne Berry along with points in the paint from Turner, Toni Davis and Chantol Drennan.
The Ladyjacks will have a chance to make it two in a row on Saturday when they travel to Houston to take on Texas Southern. Tip-off is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.