From SFA Athletics
NACOGDOCHES, TX (Press Release)- Needing to make the most of their shrinking number of chances to take the floor of William R. Johnson Coliseum, members the Stephen F. Austin men’s basketball team’s five-member senior class put on a high-quality show for their penultimate regular season performance in that venue on Monday night.
Retaining his searing downtown touch from Saturday night,Demetrious Floyd pumped in a game-high 21 points and fellow final-year man Thomas Walkup stuffed the stat sheet with 17 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and two steals as the ‘Jacks blasted Incarnate Word 84-46, stretching the nation’s third-longest home winning streak to 27 games.
Still three games in front of second-place Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the race for the Southland Conference regular season crown, the ‘Jacks also received double-digit scoring outings from TJ Holyfield (12) and Clide Geffrard (12) to up their 2015-16 mark to 19-5 and 12-0 in league play.
SFA’s 38-point margin of victory was its largest against a Southland Conference opponent since a 109-58 demolition of Central Arkansas on January 13, 2015. It also marked the first time SFA limited an NCAA Division I opponent under 50 points since a 59-48 grind-it-out triumph over North Texas on December 14, 2014.
Eleven of the 13 ‘Jacks who logged minutes in the one-sided tilt lassoed at least one rebound and helped SFA finish with a +11 advantage (39-28) on the glass against their foes from San Antonio. Connecting on 54.2-percent (32-of-59) of their field goals, the 'Jacks had four players with 10 or more points for the eighth time this season.
A collective decision was made on the defensive end of the floor to render the Cardinals’ three-point shooting useless, and that particular plan went off without a hitch. The league’s top squad in terms of per-game downtown swishes, UIW entered WRJ Coliseum hitting 8.1 per game, but the ‘Jacks in-your-face defense allowed the Cardinals to fire at a paltry 1-of-13 (7.7-percent) clip from that distance.
Walkup had a hand in all of the ‘Jacks point in a 13-2 opening salvo for the hosts. The Pasadena, Texas, product scored four points and assisted on a pair of Floyd triples and a banked-in three-pointer by Trey Pinkney before the Cardinals began to momentarily cast away their offensive woes.
The ‘Jacks double-digit advantage was trimmed down to five points when Shawn Johnson finished off an alley-oop slam dunk with 9:06 remaining in the opening stanza, but Floyd bookended an 8-2 SFA surge through the ensuing 3:34 with two more long balls. With that, the margin for the home team wouldn’t dip below double-digits for the remainder of the night.
Armed with a 37-24 lead at the break, the hosts wasted little time in putting the game out of reach for good. In the first five minutes of the deciding frame, SFA embarked on a 13-4 run that featured four free throw makes and six of Holyfield’s points. The Albuquerque, N.M., product found himself on a three-on-one fast break with Pinkney and Walkup and finished it off with a two-handed throwdown for his first field goal of the half.
With 15 minutes remaining, the ‘Jacks lead stood at 25 and it never once shrank below that. Junior Dallas Cameron came off the bench to put in a season-best nine points – all in the second half.
Now that the vast majority of the ‘Jacks 2015-16 home slate is a matter of record, SFA will play five of its final six regular season games on the road. First up on that docket is a five-and-a-half hour jaunt to Thibodaux, La., for a Saturday afternoon meeting with Nicholls. Tip-off has been slated for 3:30 p.m.
NOTES: SFA hiked its overall winning streak to 12 games – tied with Yale for the second-longest in the nation and tied for eighth place in program history in terms of most consecutive wins…the ‘Jacks are still one of three NCAA Division I men’s basketball teams who haven’t lost a conference game this season, joining Stony Brook (13-0, America East) and Yale (8-0, Ivy League) in that club…the ‘Jacks have won 19-straight conference games which is the longest active streak of conference wins in the nation and tied for the fourth-longest in-conference winning streak in Southland Conference history…with five more three-pointers, Floyd has 122 in his career which is the fifth-highest total in SFA’s NCAA DI history.