EUGENE, Ore. – Jereal Scott scored his 1,000th point of his Lumberjack career, but Stephen F. Austin never led in the second half and dropped its second consecutive game, a 65-57 decision to North Carolina Central on the second day of the Global Hoops Showcase at the Matthew Knight Arena.
Scott finished with 12 points and six rebounds to become just the eighth Lumberjack (5-6) in the Division I era to reach 1,000 points for his career, but SFA shot just 37.3 percent as a team on the night and was just 2-for-16 from long distance while the Eagles (5-6) hit 45.1 percent of their shots, including eight three-point buckets.
Desmond Haymon had his best offensive showing since the opening game of the year, pumping in 14 points and pulling down a career-best nine rebounds. He and Antonio Bostic were the only ‘Jacks to connect from three-point range with Bostic finishing with 11 points on the night.
SFA dominated the glass, out rebounding its opponent for the fifth consecutive game with a 40-23 margin, holding the Eagles to just four offensive rebounds while ripping down 11 of its own. Dominque Sutton led NCCU with 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Ebuka Anyaorah rode a 16-point first half to a game-high 18 points and Jeremy Ingram finished with 11 points, all in the final 5:32 of the game.
The Eagles led by as much as 12 points early in the second half before the ‘Jacks began to chip away at the lead. After two free throws from Bostic, Haymon got going with eight of SFA's next 10 points in just a two minute span to get SFA back to within five points with less than 14 minutes to play. Still, SFA continued to nibble away at the lead and eventually clawed to within a single point at 47-46 with 6:38 to play when Taylor Smith put back an offensive rebound.
But Ingram answered with a three-point bucket on each of the next three NCCU possessions and in less than three minutes the Eagles had built its lead back to eight points, and hit enough free throws to cruise to the finish line for the eight-point win.
Both teams started off slow offensively with Darius Gardner dropping in each of the first four points for SFA. Scott had eight points in the opening half but it took nearly 12 minutes of game time before either team was able to get going as the Eagles, after opening up ahead 4-0, went more than 10 minutes without a field goal before Anyaorah'slayup at the 8:05 mark sparked a 10-0 run that turned a six-point SFA lead into a four-point deficit.
Anyaorah finished with 16 points in the half, hitting all seven of his shots from the floor to lead the Eagles' attack and after Ray Willis drained a triple at the buzzer, NCCU took a solid 28-20 lead into the half.
The ‘Jacks hit just 33.3 percent from the field in the opening period and could not turn one of NCCU's seven turnovers into points while the Eagles converted nine SFA turnovers into 11 points.
SFA will close out the Global Hoops Showcase on Thursday when it plays the host Oregon Ducks. Tip is slated for 7:00 p.m. PT.