From SFA Athletics
BEAUMONT, TX (Press Release)- Thomas Walkup and Trey Pinkney were all smiles after the ‘Jacks 14th-straight win. After all, this wasn’t just another victory.
It’s not every day that you break a program record originally set by one of your good friends and former teammates.
Despite struggling from the field (3-of-11), Walkup manufactured an 18-point, 10-rebound double-double thanks to a 12-of-14 night at the free throw stripe and Pinkney contributed seven points to the cause of the Stephen F. Austin men’s basketball as the pair supplanted former SFA great Jake Parker as the program’s all-time winningest players in a 79-58 thrashing of Lamar on Monday night.
The pair upped their career win total to 108 – one more than Parker – and pushed the ‘Jacks to the brink of their fourth-straight Southland Conference regular season title in the process. SFA can clinch that crown with one more win.
Joining Walkup in double figures was Clide Geffrard, Demetrious Floyd and TJ Holyfield. Both Floyd and Holyfield finished with 10 and Geffrard chipped in 14. Tying Walkup for game-high honors in the rebounding department was junior CJ Williams who amassed a career-high 10 in the tilt.
Even though the shots weren’t falling as well as they normally do for the ‘Jacks (22-of-59, 37.3-percent), SFA willed its way to the lopsided victory by scoring 28 points off of 17 Lamar turnovers and owning a 46-35 edge on the glass over the Cardinals.
For the fifth time in 2015-16, the ‘Jacks first points came by way of some makes at the free throw stripe. Walkup was intentionally fouled on a breakaway and pumped in a pair from the charity line. Holyfield added four of his own through SFA’s opening 10-6 salvo.
As the Cardinals struggles from the field manifested themselves more and more as the half elapsed, SFA pushed its advantage to as many as 15 points, 24-9, with 9:35 to go in the opening stanza. Ice cold from the field, the Cardinals didn’t sink a field goal for a stretch of 6:28. The only point the home squad produced from 15:28 until the nine-minute mark came via three free throw hits.
Nick Garth ended Lamar’s field goal drought with a long ball from the top of the key, sparking a 10-4 Cardinal surge in the process. Two charity stripe swishes apiece from Walkup and CJ Williams provided SFA’s sole points over a stretch of 3:13.
Kevin Booze called buckets on a downtown shot of his own that trimmed the once-comfortable edge to 28-19, but Geffrard provided the cure to what was ailing the ‘Jacks offense. His smooth shooting ways produced the next 10 SFA points before Dallas Cameronbecame the fourth purple-uniformed player to pump in a triple that pushed the ‘Jacks lead up to 41-27 with 60 seconds left in the half.
Things looked dicey early on in the deciding frame as the ‘Jacks misfired on their first eight shot attempts, but Trey Pinkney put the brakes on that skid by drilling an uncontested long-ranger.
From that point on, the ‘Jacks clipped the Cardinals’ wings by employing a stifling brand of defense that limited the hosts to just 29 points on an 11-of-25 showing from the field in the second half.
Dallas Cameron hit four free throws with 2:04 to go to push SFA’s lead to 78-50 – a game-high.
The five seniors on the ‘Jacks roster will take part in what may be their final game ever in William R. Johnson Coliseum on Saturday night. Floyd, Geffrard, Walkup, Pinkney and Jared Johnson will be honored in a pregame ceremony prior to SFA’s 6:00 p.m., tip off against Houston Baptist. With a win, the ‘Jacks would clinch an unprecedented fourth-straight Southland Conference regular season title.