Ladyjacks' defense stiffens Islanders in 69-57 victory

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks erased an early 14-point deficit and put down the clamps defensively to earn their second straight conference victory, defeating Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 69-57 Saturday evening at William R. Johnson Coliseum.

SFA senior guard Tammara Marion once again led the way offensively, scoring a game-high 20 points, 13 of which came in the second half. Ashlee Mells also scored in double-figures (10 points) for a second straight game and tied Porsha Roberts with a game-high eight rebounds.

The Ladyjacks (14-5, 4-2) limited the Islanders to just 21 percent (6-of-28) shooting in the second half and forced 22 A&M-Corpus Christi turnovers on the evening.

"We did a better job of containing them (Islanders) in the second half," SFA head coach Brandon Schneider said. "We were getting some deflections, creating turnovers and closing gaps. Our defense really fueled our offense."

Despite entering the locker room trailing 35-34 at halftime, SFA outscored A&M-Corpus Christi 35-22 in the second half while shooting a solid 46 percent from the floor over the game's final 20 minutes.

The Ladyjacks opened up a 16-point cushion with 5:17 remaining in the game thanks in part to a 21-3 run over a span of 12 minutes. Over that stretch SFA held the Islanders without a made field goal and forced six turnovers.

Alisa Roberts led the Islanders (6-14, 2-5) with 17 points on 4-of-10 shooting while Verne'qua Taylor finished with 10 points.

The Ladyjacks won most of the hustle battles, taking points in the paint (28-18), second chance points (16-8) and bench scoring (27-15).

SFA will be looking for a third straight victory next Wednesday, Feb. 1 when they travel to San Marcos to take on Texas State at 7 p.m.