UTA comeback spoils SFA upset bid

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks led 32-19 at the half over league-leading UT Arlington, but the Mavericks held SFA to just 18 percent shooting in the second half to come all the way back and steal a 51-47 win on Wednesday at William R. Johnson Coliseum.

UTA (20-5, 12-0 SLC) was able to keep alive the nation's second-longest win streak - 16 games - despite making just 13 field goals on the night and shooting just 30.2 percent from the field. That was thanks in large part to just 28.3 percent shooting for SFA (14-11, 8-4 SLC), including 2-for-18 from beyond the 3-point line.

Taylor Smith led SFA with both 15 points and nine rebounds on the night, but had 13 points and six of those boards in the opening period when the `Jacks held the Mavs to just 5-for-21 from the floor (23.8 percent) to open up its 13-point midway advantage.

Desmond Haymon finished with nine points, all in the first half, while junior guard Antoino Bostic was held in check for the majority of the night, hitting just 2-for-11 from the field for five points to go with his five rebounds and four assists.

UTA, who was held to its lowest scoring output of the season, was led by LaMarcus Reed's 16 points and Bo Ingram's 13 points as the only two scorers to reach double figures. Meanwhile big man Jordan Reves turned in a big night despite hitting just free throws, pulling down nine rebounds and rejecting six Lumberjack shots.

The `Jacks closed the run on a 13-4 run to go into the locker room up 32-19 with eight of those points coming from Smith. SFA held the Mavs without a field goal for the final 7:54 of the opening period with UTA only able to notch six free throws in that span.

But the Mavs amped up the defensive pressure in the second half and were able to come away with the first win by an SFA opponent this season when the `Jacks led at the break.

UTA got seven straight points from Reed to cap a 10-0 run and pull to within two points at 37-35 with just over 12 minutes to play. SFA managed to keep the Mavs at bay when Bostic canned a transition jumper with 10:04 to go, but that would be SFA's final field goal until just 16 seconds remained in the contest.

In the meantime UTA took its first lead since early in the game on a layup from Kevin Butler to push the score to 43-42 and managed to hold SFA off the scoreboard completely for nearly the final seven minutes of the game. The `Jacks had their chances, but went just 2-for-12 from the floor and 1-for-5 from the foul line in the final five minutes of the game as the Mavs held on for their 16th consecutive victory and remained perfect in league play.

SFA will get a night off from conference play on Saturday when it hosts High Point in this season's Sears Bracket Busters matchup. The game will be the back end of a doubleheader that includes the Ladyjacks taking on Texas State in a conference game beginning at 4:00 p.m.