From SFA Athletics
NEW ORLEANS, LA (Press Release)- The Stephen F. Austin women’s basketball team dropped a heartbreaker on Thursday night as New Orleans got a desperation three-pointer to fall with less than one second to play to pull off a 58-57 upset inside Lakefront Arena.
Up 57-55 after senior guard Taylor Schippers hit one of two free throws with 5.7 seconds remaining, the Ladyjacks forced a deep, off-balanced shot from beyond the arc by UNO’s Randi Brown. The line drive heave rattled off the glass and fell through the net, leaving SFA in a one-point hole with just 0.2 seconds to work with.
The Ladyjacks couldn’t connect on a full court pass, resulting in their third straight loss to fall to 1-3 in Southland Conference play.
Junior guard Taylor Ross scored 14 of her team-high 16 points in the second half to put the Ladyjacks in position to win late. She hit 8 of 15 field goal attempts overall, including 7 of 11 in the second half, and swiped three steals in the game.
Brentney Branch also hit some big shots down the stretch, registering eight of her 10 points in the final 20 minutes. She drained two threes to lead SFA from distance and extend her streak of games with a made triple to 14.
Neither team led by more than five points at any juncture during the evening in a game that saw 12 ties and nine lead changes.
Trailing for most of the third quarter, SFA mounted an 11-2 run during the backend of the period to go up 40-36. Ross scored four points, Branch had five and senior guard Paulletta Powell capped the surge with an easy layup with 30 seconds left in the quarter.
The fourth quarter was played in a five-point window. Ross tied the game twice at 52-52 and 54-54 with under 2:15 to go, but it was junior center Adrienne Lewis who finally put the ‘Jacks back in front, 56-55. She grabbed a missed shot under the basket and got the put-back to fall with only 20 seconds remaining.
The Privateers committed two turnovers in the final 17 seconds but remained within striking distance after a missed SFA layup and free throw.
Brown finished with a game-high 20 points for the Privateers after she hit the game-winner.
In a tightly contested defensive skirmish in the first half, Chanell Hayes provided the spark offensively. Trailing 12-10 after the first quarter, the Ladyjacks relied on the freshman to keep them in game. Hayes hit a three-pointer from the corner and assisted on a transition layup to Branch in the opening minutes of the second quarter. She scored six points in the frame overall to lead SFA at the break.
The Ladyjacks went just 1-for-12 from beyond the arc in the opening half but used strong defensive pressure on the other end of the court to make up for the shooting struggles. SFA limited UNO to 33.3 percent shooting and forced 15 of the Privateers’ 28 total turnovers in the first half alone.
At the halftime intermission, the Privateers held a slim 28-25 lead.
SFA was outrebounded 44-27 but offset the disparity with a 25-6 advantage in points off turnovers. Schippers and freshman Kennedy Harris each ended the game with eight points to compliment the ‘Jacks’ scoring effort. The total was a new season-high for Harris.
The Ladyjacks will look to rebound this weekend when first place Abilene Christian comes to William R. Johnson Coliseum for a 4:00 p.m. tip on Saturday afternoon. The men’s teams from each school will complete the double-header beginning at the conclusion of the women’s game.