Balanced effort pushes SFA past Islanders

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks got 20 points from Antonio Bostic and led by as much as 19 points to stay in the upper tier of the Southland Conference with a 64-49 win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Saturday at the American Bank Center.

SFA (11-9, 5-2 SLC) held the Islanders (4-16, 3-5 SLC) to just 15 points in the first half and withstood an early second-half run to earn its eighth win over TAMUCC in its last nine meetings. The 'Jacks owned the glass, outrebounding TAMUCC 39-27, and turned the ball over just seven times in putting together one of its most complete games of the season against a team who had pulled off two double-digit comeback victories in its last two games.

Bostic did most of his work in the first half, carrying the offense with a dozen of his 20 points while Jereal Scott struggled from the floor, hitting just 6-of-17, but still managed to score 13 points and pull down nine rebounds against the Islander front line.

Hal Bateman was the third 'Jack in double figures with 12 points and two assists and Taylor Smith added seven points and six boards as the SFA bench outscored the Islander reserves 19-4 on the night.

After putting together a 10-0 run to close out the first half and take a commanding 30-15 lead into the break, SFA had to withstand an early scoring barrage from the Islanders as they hit five of their first seven shots from the field and in less than three minutes cut a 15-point lead to single digits. But SFA answered the Islanders 9-3 run with a 7-1 spurt of its own that nullified the Islander's work.

The Islanders were never any closer than 13 points in the final 10 minutes of the ballgame and trailed by as much as 19 points with just under five minutes to play in the ballgame.

The 'Jacks will look to complete a season sweep of Texas State on Wednesday in Nacogdoches and stay in the thick of the Southland Conference title race when  they take on the Bobcats.