Junior point guard Brittany Matthew had a career night against Henderson State as she helped lead Stephen F. Austin to a 72-56 win on Thursday evening. Matthew drained a career-high 24 points in the win on 10-of-14 shooting and dished out five assists for a season-high.
Matthew and the Ladyjacks (5-6) led by only seven points at halftime, up 34-27, with Matthew scoring 11 points. Junior center Porsha Roberts nearly had a double-double in the first half as she put up nine points and pulled down nine rebounds.
SFA appeared to be in control of the game early, but Henderson State (6-3) went on a 12-2 run to take the lead. The Ladyjacks responded with a 14-0 run of their own to reclaim the lead 26-16.
In the second half, the Reddies slowly chipped away at SFA's lead and eventually pulled within two points at 48-46 with 9:42 remaining. The Ladyjacks responded with a 3-pointer by Daylyn Harris and an old-fashioned three-point play from Roberts to gain control of the game again.
Roberts finished the night with 16 points and 15 rebounds for her second double-double of the season. She was nearly perfect from the field, only missing one shot in the closing minutes of the contest. Roberts also swatted four blocks to continue her defensive assault in the paint this season. She entered the game leading the Southland Conference with 2.4 blocks per game.
Tierany Henderson also posted a double-double for the Ladyjacks, putting 11 points on the board to go with 12 rebounds.
SFA shot 44.8 percent (26-of-58) on the night for a new season-high and dominated the paint, outscoring the Reddies 40-20 in that category.
Henderson State was led offensively by Aungelique Sledge with 21 points. The guard entered the contest averaging more than 20 points per game, and although she reached her average, Sledge was held scoreless over the final 11 minutes of the contest thanks to SFA's defensive adjustments and pressure.
The Ladyjacks will continue their homestand on Dec. 30 when they take on Texas A&M-Commerce at 6 p.m. That day will be an SFA doubleheader with the men hosting Cal State Northridge at 8 p.m.