NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Stephen F. Austin women's basketball team used a balanced offensive attack and great defense to defeat Lamar 71-60 on Thursday night inside William R. Johnson Coliseum. The Ladyjacks' sixth straight victory and second over the Lady Cardinals on the year bumps SFA into sole possession of first place in the Southland Conference standings with five games to go.
The Ladyjacks (18-6, 11-2 SLC) got double digit scoring efforts from five different players for the first time this season. Taylor Ross led the way with 16 points on 5-for-7 shooting, including 2-for-2 from beyond the arc. Senior Porsha Roberts was efficient from the field, converting seven of eight shots into points to finish with 14. She also led the team with nine boards on the evening.
Senior Tierany Henderson reached a significant milestone after draining four of eight shots from deep in the contest. With the four three-pointers, Henderson has now made an even 200 during her career at SFA making her only the second Ladyjack to ever reach the mark. She finished Thursday's battle with 12 points while also leading SFA in blocks (3).
Rounding out the double figure scorers were Brittney Matthew (10) and Adrienne Lewis (10). Matthew was all over the court for 32 minutes, dishing out a game-high six assists and notching five steals. Lewis' 10 points off the bench was a new career-high for the sophomore. She also hauled in seven rebounds and went 5-for-6 from the floor in 14 minutes of work.
Lamar (14-11, 11-3 SLC) led for just seven second s the whole night after scoring the first two points of the game on a pair of free throws at the 18:58 mark. The Ladyjacks went on a 12-0 run over the next 7:01, capped by a three-pointer off the hands of Matthew to put SFA in control 12-2. The Lady Cardinals didn't make their first shot from the field until a made layup with 11:05 remaining in the first half.
SFA continued to keep the edge throughout the opening half with the help of Henderson's hot shooting. She knocked down a triple with six seconds remaining before the break to open up the largest lead of the game at 35-24. All 12 of Henderson's points came in the first half as SFA enjoyed an 11-point lead at intermission.
The Ladyjacks kept their foot on the gas to start the second half, pounding the ball inside with Roberts and Lewis. The duo each scored eight points in the final 20 minutes to help give SFA a 30-20 edge in points in the paint. Ross also finished strong with 12 points in the final frame.
A layup by Lewis with 7:18 to play gave SFA its largest lead of the night at 57-36. The Ladyjacks would coast from there en route to the 71-60 final.
The Ladyjacks shot 45 percent from beyond the arc (9-for-20) while finishing at 45.6 percent shooting overall. The Lady Cardinals converted just 37 percent of their shots from the field.
The schedule doesn't get any easier for SFA as it turns around to host third place Nicholls State (14-10, 10-3 SLC) on Saturday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. The team will wear pink jerseys in support of breast cancer awareness.