EUGENE, Ore. – Despite 18 points and nine rebounds from Jereal Scott, the Lumberjacks could not overcome poor shooting from behind the three-point line and at the charity stripe as they dropped a 53-50 decision to Prairie View A&M in the first of three games at the Global Hoops Showcase at the Matthew Knight Arena.
SFA (5-5) saw its streak of 11 wins in a row against SWAC opponents snapped in just its first meeting with the Panthers (3-7) since 1987. The Lumberjacks shot 44.9 percent from the floor for the game, but were 0-for-8 from three-point range and just 6-for-14 at the free throw line on the night, including 4-for-10 in the second half.
The ‘Jacks led by as much as four points with less than five minutes to play, and held the lead until Prairie View's Ryan Gesiakowski nailed his fourth triple of the night with just 3:03 to go. The Panthers added another bucket to go up three in the game's final minute and SFA had a chance to tie it up when sophomore Desmond Haymon was fouled on a three-point try, but Haymon hit just two of three and after the Panthers hit two more from the line Darius Gardner's desperation three came up short at the buzzer.
Scott nearly netted his second double-double in his last three games, hitting 8-for-12 from the floor, but the rest of the Lumberjacks were just 14-for-37, including second-leading scorer Antonio Bostic who finished with just eight points on 4-for-17 shooting on the night. Hal Bateman was big off the bench, hitting all four of his shots from the floor for eight points to go with his five assists and three rebounds before fouling out in the game's final minute.
The Panthers never led by more than five points at any point of the second half, but SFA was not able to nab the lead until Jacob Parker hit his second bucket of the game, a jumper from the right elbow with 9:53 to go to put SFA in front 39-37. Still, the ‘Jacks were never able to run away from Prairie View, not leading by more than just four points with 4:54 to play.
SFA trailed by just a point at the half, 23-22, despite turning the ball over a dozen times in the opening period. Scott had just five of his 18 points on the night at the break, but was not able to connect on a field goal in the half's final 15 minutes.
Prairie View opened the game on a 9-2 run before SFA answered with a 8-0 run of its own to get out in front. But the Panthers continued to thrive off of SFA's miscues, getting nine points off of turnovers and a trio of shots from long range to hold the advantage at the half.
SFA next takes on North Carolina Central on the Classic's second day before battling the host Oregon Ducks in the finale on Thursday evening.