For the first time all season the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks suffered their second straight defeat, falling 69-61 to UT-Arlington Saturday evening at the William R. Johnson Coliseum.
Tammara Marion (20 points) and Brittney Matthew (12 points) led the way for SFA offensively but it was the defensive side of the ball where the Ladyjacks struggled on this particular evening. The Mavericks' 69 points was tied for the second-most points allowed by SFA this season and the most points given up since a 69-64 loss at home on Dec. 12 to Arkansas State.
SFA (12-5, 2-2) allowed UTA to shoot just 40 percent from the floor but the Mavericks took advantage at the free throw line, where they connected on an outrageous 22-of-24 (91.7%) attempts.
Three Mavericks (3-14, 1-4) scored in double-digits, including a team-high
19 points from point guard Sabreena Denure. She was helped by Malaika Green and Chauntandr Williams, each of which scored 10 points off the UTA bench.
The Ladyjacks were in catch up mode most of the first half, falling behind 9-0 in just the game's first three minutes before finally pulling within 11-10 at the 14:45 mark on one of Matthew's three three-point shots on the evening.
UTA would never relinquish the lead in the game's first 20 minutes though, and took a 35-33 lead into intermission. The Ladyjacks shot just 28 percent from the floor in the first half and were led in scoring by Marion and Matthew, who each scored nine points.
In the second half the Ladyjacks began to hit their rhythm on the offensive side of the floor at the 13 minutes mark when they took the lead for the first time all evening on a Marion driving layup.
SFA was clinging on to a 57-53 lead with just under five minutes remaining in the contest when the team's offense stalled and the Mavericks took over.
UTA closed the game on a 14-4 run the final four minutes led by eight points from Green.
The Ladyjacks had an opportunity to even the score with 17 seconds remaining by a Marion layup fell short and was tipped out of bounds by SFA and over to the Mavericks. UTA proceeded to hit all six of their free throws in the final 15 seconds to secure the victory.
SFA will look to get back to their winning ways on Wednesday, Jan. 25 when they travel to Huntsville for a showdown with the Sam Houston State Bearkats.
Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. and the game can be heard on Q107.7 FM with James Dixon doing play-by-play.