From SFA Athletics
NACOGDOCHES, TX (Press Release)- The Stephen F. Austin women’s basketball team will honor its three seniors – Taylor Schippers, Paulletta Powell and Victoria Pena – on Senior Day this Saturday afternoon in the final home game of the season at William R. Johnson Coliseum. The trio will lace them up for the last time in front of the home fans at 3:30 p.m. when the Ladyjacks go for their 10th straight win against Houston Baptist. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN3 and Rob Meyers will also have the call on Q107.7 FM.
• Using its current nine-game winning streak, SFA has vaulted all the way to fourth place in the Southland Conference standings with three games to go. The Ladyjacks haven't lost since Jan. 23 and are the hottest team in the league as no other team has won more than its last five games. An SFA win on Saturday would move them into the third spot in the league table and into position for the number two seed in the upcoming SLC Tournament.
• SFA jumped out to a 21-4 lead in the first quarter and never looked back in a dominating 82-66 victory over Incarnate Word inside the McDermott Convocation Center on Wednesday night in San Antonio. Junior guards Taylor Ross and Brentney Branch, along with senior captain Taylor Schippers, combined to score 58 points and the ‘Jacks posted their best field goal percentage of the year at 56.7 percent to come away with the convincing road win.
• Three-point sharpshooter Brentney Branch has made four triples in each of her last four games and at least four on 10 different occasions in 2015-16. She now has 60 made threes during her junior campaign, ranking sixth all-time in SFA history for a single season. Wednesday’s effort at UIW helped her pass Tammara Marion’s 2009-10 total of 59. Branch also ranks sixth in program history with 148 career three-pointers made – just four shy ofBritany Vinson (2002-06) for fifth.
• One of the biggest reasons the Ladyjacks have rattled off nine straight wins has been the exceptional play of Taylor Ross. She dropped 22 points on 10-of-14 shooting with seven assists on Wednesday at UIW to lead SFA to a lopsided victory. Ross now has 10 20-point games this season and has reached the mark in three of the last four contests. She has also played a pivotal role in getting her teammates involved, dishing out at least six assists each of the last five times out.
• In each of the last five games, the Ladyjacks have recorded at least 11 steals and forced at least 20 turnovers to result in four double digit wins. SFA ranks 17th in the nation this season in steals per game (10.7) and 25th in turnovers forced (19.9).
• The Ladyjacks have shot the ball well all season long. The squad currently leads the Southland Conference and sits 42nd nationally with a 43.5 field goal percentage through 26 games. During its nine-game winning streak, SFA has shot at least 41.0 percent in every contest and gone over 50 percent on three occasions, including Wednesday night at UIW.
A LOOK AT HOUSTON BAPTIST
• The Ladyjacks are 8-1 all-time against the Huskies entering the 10th meeting between the two programs on Saturday afternoon. SFA won the first seven games in the young series, including two regular season victories last season, but dropped its first ever game to HBU in the 2015 Southland Conference Tournament semifinals. This year on Feb. 6, the Ladyjacks used a 25-point outburst from Taylor Ross to run away from the Huskies 64-50 in Houston. Trailing 43-42 after the third quarter, SFA outscored HBU 22-7 in the final frame to create late separation.
• Houston Baptist has been steady during SLC play, never winning or losing more than two in a row while hovering right around .500 throughout. The Huskies lost to first place Abilene Christian 76-55 at home on Wednesday to drop to 12-13 and 7-8 in the league. HBU was picked to finish sixth in both preseason coaches and SID polls and currently sits in a tie for sixth.
• HBU is led by one of the best forwards in the SLC, senior Anna Strickland. In 25 games on the year, she leads the team in points (13.8), rebounds (13.4), blocks (1.6), assists (3.0) and steals (2.2). Monet Neal (12.4 ppg) and Rachel Arthur (11.1 ppg) also average double figures for the Huskies this season.
• Following Saturday’s game inside William R. Johnson Coliseum, the Ladyjacks will close the 2015-16 season next week on the road at Northwestern State on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. before traveling to play Sam Houston State on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. The SLC Tournament will begin on March 10.