'Jacks begin road trip with a big win

SFA Cruises By Colonels

THIBODAUX, La. – The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks put three players in double figures and led by as much as 20 points in cruising to a 63-51 lead over Nicholls State on Thursday at Stopher Gym.

The win completes a season sweep of the Colonels (5-17, 5-7 SLC) for the 'Jacks (21-2, 12-1 SLC) and keeps SFA in sole possession of first place in the Southland Conference.

SFA shot 53 percent from the field, including 67 percent in the opening half and were once again led by Taylor Smith with 17 points, four blocks and four rebounds. Desmond Haymon added 15 points, including three three-point buckets, and Antonio Bostic had a dozen points to reach double figures for the first time in six games.

The Southland's leading scorer Fred Hunter led the Colonels with 20 points, but no other Nicholls player managed to add more than JaMarkus Horace's 10 points and six rebounds. SFA canned six triples on the night while holding Nicholls to just one of eight from beyond the arc.

Smith hit each of his first six shots from the field and eight of 10 for the night in 36 minutes of work, and Hal Bateman dished outeight assists to add to his league-leading total. SFA had 15 assists on 24 made baskets on the night and hit nine of its 10 foul shots.

The 'Jacks never trailed in the game, taking a 6-2 lead early on with a pair of dunks from Smith and got three-point buckets from Bostic and Haymon to build a 21-13 lead within the game's first 10 minutes. From there the 'Jacks continued with business as usual, working inside out with Smith getting 11 of his points in the first half and three players combining for four long balls to help SFA take a 39-27 lead into the break after closing the half on an 11-4 run.

The second half was much the same with SFA never allowing the Colonels to get back to within single digits the remainder of the way. Four Lumberjacks got in the scoring column within the first eight minutes of thehalf with Nicholls doing the majority of their offensive damage from the foul line where they finished 18 of 26 on the night. SFA got the lead to as much as 20 points with just over five minutes to play on consecutive jump shots from Bateman and Haymon before killing off the final minutes of the game, just missing holding the Colonels below the 50-point mark.

SFA will continue its four-game road swing on Saturday in Hammond, La., with a game against Southeastern. Tip time is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. from the University Center.

-SFA News Release-


Ben Rikard