NACOGDOCHES, TX (Press Release)
FAST BREAK POINTS
• On a quest to secure its first road victory of the season as well as its first triumph over an SEC program in almost a half-century, the Stephen F. Austin men’s basketball team travels north to Fayetteville, Ark., for a Thursday night battle with Arkansas inside the walls of Bud Walton Arena. The fifth all-time meeting between the Lumberjacks and Razorbacks will get started at 8:00 p.m. and the game will be televised on the SEC Network.
• Once they tip-off inside the Basketball Palace of Mid-America on Thursday night, the ‘Jacks will have done battle with two SEC schools in a single season for the first time in program history. In 2006, SFA faced both Arkansas and Missouri, but at the time Missouri was a member of the Big 12 conference.
• Thanks to a 2-2 record to begin the season, the ‘Jacks have finished up their November slate with a mark of .500 or better for the 18th-straight year. The last time a Stephen F. Austin men’s basketball team wrapped up November with a record below .500 was in 1998-99 when the ‘Jacks went 0-3.
• Free throw accuracy has been a strength for the ‘Jacks in the early stages of the 2016-17 campaign, and sophomore TJ Holyfield has been one of the biggest reasons why. The Albuquerque, N.M., product is has drilled all 14 of his attempts from the charity stripe and is one of five players in the nation who have not missed a free throw this season.
• SFA’s most recent win against an SEC program occurred exactly 46 years ago when it bested Texas A&M 89-82 on Dec. 1, 1970.
LAST TIME OUT
• Making their first appearance in Fant-Ewing Coliseum since 2010, the Lumberjacks staked Louisiana-Monroe to a lead of as many as 20 points early in the second half before staging a strong comeback attempt that ultimately fell short in a 77-72 setback to the Warhawks on Monday night.
• Integral to the ‘Jacks’ monster second-half effort was junior guard Ivan Canete who provided 23 of his game and career-high 28 points through the final 20 minutes of action. Canete did the majority of his damage from three-point range, hitting six of his eight tries in the game. Canete became the first SFA player to hit six three-pointers in a game since Demetrious Floyd put in an equal number of long-range buckets in a 104-68 triumph over Houston Baptist in the semifinals of the 2016 Southland Conference Tournament.
• In addition to his high point total, Canete laid claim to new career highs in rebounds (six), assists (five) and three-point field goals made. His six rebounds were a team-high as were his five assists. Those helpers allowed the ‘Jacks to submit their highest single-game assist total this season (14).
• Held scoreless through the first three games of his NCAA Division I career, junior Josh Huntley checked in early in the first half and proceeded to go 4-for-5 from the field and added a free throw make in the second half to finish with nine points. The Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., product added four rebounds for SFA as well.
• By way of a 4-for-11 shooting performance, senior guard Dallas Cameron established a new career-high with 15 points. The Pompano Beach, Fla., product added a game-best five assists in 29 minutes of action and was one of three SFA players who finished the game with 10 or more points.
• For the first time this season, freshman Kevon Harris suffered a misfire from the free throw line. Coming into the non-conference tilt, Harris was 9-for-9 at the free throw line but missed the front end of a two-shot try to snap his streak of charity stripe perfection in 2016-17.
• Sophomore TJ Holyfield extended his streak of double-digit scoring efforts to three games by putting in 12 points. That signifies the first time in Holyfield’s career in which has has put forth 10 or more points in three consecutive contests. The Albuquerque, N.M., product fouled out of the game, marking his second DQ of the season. Holyfield fouled out two of his first four games as a freshman, too.
• After grabbing more rebounds than their opponents in each of their first three games this season, the ‘Jacks finished -6 in rebounding against Louisiana-Monroe. It was the first time SFA was out-rebounded by an opponent since March 20, 2016, against Notre Dame in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
• Points in the paint were not difficult to come by for the Warhawks. SFA gave up 40 points in the paint to Louisiana-Monroe and finished at a 40-16 disadvantage in that category. The -24 points in the paint differential for the ‘Jacks was their worst since finishing with a -36 figure (48-12) in a 97-55 loss at #21/22 Baylor on Nov. 13, 2015.
• At no point in the game did Stephen F. Austin hold a lead. The last time the ‘Jacks never took the lead in a game was back on Nov. 15, 2015, when SFA suffered a 70-60 loss at Northern Iowa as part of ESPN’s College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon.
• Through the first 20 minutes of play, the ‘Jacks collected nine rebounds compared to 19 by the Warhawks. In the second half, SFA doubled their total to 18 and limited ULM to 14, finishing with a +4 rebounding margin in the frame.
• The five-point loss in Monroe marked the first time since Nov. 24, 2014, that the ‘Jacks came up on the wrong end of the scoreboard in a Monday tilt. Coming into their game against the Warhawks, SFA had won 14-straight Monday games since dropping a 67-51 decision at Baylor on the aforementioned date.
• For the first time this season, the ‘Jacks connected for 10 or more makes from three-point range. SFA’s 12 long range hits represents a season high and marks the 10th time since the start of the 2015-16 season that Stephen F. Austin slung in 10 or more triples. Seven of the ‘Jacks’ 10 games with 10 or more three-pointers have been at the expense of teams from the state of Louisiana.
• The loss snapped Stephen F. Austin’s two-game winning streak against the Warhawks and was also the ‘Jacks’ first loss against a current Sun Belt program since Jan. 21, 2009, when they fell to UT-Arlington (then in the Southland Conference) by a 52-67 tally. That season marked the first time in program history that the ‘Jacks reached the NCAA Tournament.
• Picked to finish fifth in the race for the SEC title, Arkansas has captured victories in four of its five games to start the 2016-17 season. The Razorbacks’ sole setback in that span came at the hands of unranked - and currently undefeated - Minnesota by an 85-71 tally inside Williams Arena in Minneapolis, Minn., on Nov. 22.
• All four of the Razorbacks’ wins have come on their home court and the average margin of victory for Arkansas in those games stands at 12.8 points per game.
• The only loss the Razorbacks have experienced against a Southland Conference opponent took place in the 1954-55 season when Arkansas came up on the short end of a 74-68 decision against Northwestern State in Fayetteville, Ark.
• Arkansas is the second team the ‘Jacks will face that has made an appearance in the USA Today Coaches Poll. The Razorbacks are receiving votes in the poll for the fourth-straight week and are one of five SEC programs who are either ranked or receiving votes in the latest edition of the poll.
HERE’S LOOKING AT YOU, KID
• One of college basketball’s most experienced teams a season ago, the departure of six seniors from the ‘Jacks’ 2015-16 squad has necessitated the arrival of some new faces.
• In terms of on-court experience, Stephen F. Austin ranks 255th out of 351 NCAA Division I men’s basketball teams in Ken Pomeroy’s experience listing. Only two teams in the Southland Conference - McNeese and Abilene Christian - are younger than the ‘Jacks.
YOU BENCH A LOT, BRO?
• Stephen F. Austin has relied heavily on its brigade of bench players through the early portion of the season. Currently, the ‘Jacks are tied for 18th in the nation in terms of minutes played by their bench players (41.5).
• The only other Southland Conference institution which uses bench players more than SFA is Sam Houston State. The Bearkats rank 17th nationally in reserve usage at 41.6 minutes per game.
ON THE RISE
• Two things happened in Stephen F. Austin’s most recent game at Louisiana-Monroe: the team’s number of turnovers decreased and its number of assists increased.
• SFA dished out a season-high 14 assists on 22 made field goals in their setback in the Pelican State. That works out to an assist on 62.6-percent of their baskets - up almost 20-percent from their 48.4-percent of baskets made from an assist through their first three games of the season.
• A big reason why the ‘Jacks have started the 2016-17 campaign with a 2-2 record has been because of their accurate touch at the free throw line.
• In all, 29.6-percent of the ‘Jacks’ points this season have come from the free throw line. SFA is averaging 20.5 free throw makes per game this season and ranks ninth nationally with a team free throw percentage of 80.4-percent.
GOOD WORK, DALLAS
• Senior guard Dallas Cameron recently found himself among a list of 181 NCAA Division I, II, III and NAIA men’s basketball players from around the nation who were nominated for the 2017 Allstate NABC Good Works Team.
• Needing just nine more wins to become the fifth player in Stephen F. Austin program history to reach the 100-win plateau, Cameron’s inclusion on the list marks the third time in as many seasons in which the ‘Jacks have placed a player on the Good Works Team nomination list.
• Over the summer, Cameron embarked on a journey to New Zealand with various other NCAA men’s basketball players under the Athletes in Action flag. The purpose of the trip was to spread the word of Christianity through basketball and faith-based meeting with various local groups. Cameron is heavily involved in the SFA chapter of AIA as well.
COMING UP NEXT
• For the first time in the month of December, the ‘Jacks will take to their home court at William R. Johnson Coliseum and put their 30-game home court winning streak on the line when Centenary College (La.) comes to town on Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. and all of the action will be streamed nationwide on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app with Rob Meyers and Tyler DePascal on the call.