NACOGDOCHES, TX (Press Release)
FAST BREAK POINTS
• Owners of the nation’s fourth-longest active home court winning streak, the Stephen F. Austin men’s basketball team returns to William R. Johnson Coliseum after an absence of over two weeks to go toe-to-toe with Centenary College for the first time since 2011. Tip-off between the ‘Jacks and Gents is set for 2:00 p.m. and fans can follow all the action by accessing ESPN3 or the WatchESPN app.
• The rivalry between the ‘Jacks and the Gents is one of the oldest in the history of SFA’s program. 1928 marked the first-ever meeting between the two teams and the ‘Jacks came out on top in that one via a 38-32 score in Nacogdoches.
• The ‘Jacks are hoping to put an end to a two-game losing skid when they return to their home court on Saturday afternoon. Since the 2010-11 season, Stephen F. Austin is 10-4 in games following back-to-back losses and in that span the ‘Jacks have lost three games in a row on only four occasions.
• Stephen F. Austin’s home court dominance against schools from Louisiana stretches back almost a full decade. The last time the ‘Jacks lost a home game to a foe from the Pelican State was on Feb. 12, 2007, when Northwestern State claimed a 67-57 Southland Conference win. Since that time, SFA has win 32 straight home games against Louisiana programs.
• For a brief time earlier in the season, Stephen F. Austin was tied with South Dakota State for the nation’s third-longest active home court winning streak. The Jackrabbits, however, now have 31 home wins in a row compared to SFA’s 30.
LAST TIME OUT
• Just six points separated Stephen F. Austin from Arkansas at the start of the second half in Bud Walton Arena, but the Razorbacks opening statement in the final frame came in the form of a 20-8 run that floored SFA in a 78-62 loss on Thursday night.
• For the first time this season, the ‘Jacks were the first team to score. Junior guard Ivan Canete hit a pair of free throws in the game’s opening minute to hand SFA a 2-0 lead - the only advantage for Stephen F. Austin in the game. It marked the first time the ‘Jacks scored the first points in a game since last season when then-freshman TJ Holyfield began SFA’s NCAA Tournament second-round matchup against Notre Dame with a mid-range jumper.
• After missing all six of their three-pointers in the opening half, the ‘Jacks recovered and hit three of them in the second half. SFA’s first half devoid of a long-range basket was the first time it failed to make a three-pointer in a half since going 0-for-5 in the second half of an 83-72 home win over Northwestern State on Feb. 8, 2016.
• One of the nation’s most dangerous transition teams, the Razorbacks finished the night with 20 fast break points compared to just four by the ‘Jacks. Arkansas’ 20 fast break points were the most the ‘Jacks had scored against them since Appalachian State amassed 14 in a neutral site game on Nov. 29, 2015.
• By way of a team-high 14 points, junior guard Ivan Canete took over at the ‘Jacks’ leading scorer in 2016-17. Over his last three games, the Lake Worth, Fla., product is averaging 18 points per game on the strength of 56.6-percent shooting from the field (17-of-30 FGs).
• One of the nation’s best free throw shooters heading into the game, sophomore TJ Holyfieldmissed two of his three attempts at the charity stripe. Entering the game, the Albuquerque, N.M., product had drilled all 14 of his free throws through the 2016-17 season.
• Freshman Kevon Harris put in 11 points for the second double-digit scoring effort of his young collegiate career. The Ellenwood, Ga., product has scored 31 points through five games this season and 17 of those 31 - or 54.8-percent - have come at the free throw line. Against the Razorbacks, Harris sank seven of his game-high 10 tries from there.
• Through the final 9:48, Stephen F. Austin hit just two of its season-low 18 field goals. Those 18 field goals represented the ‘Jacks’ lowest total in a game since drilling 17 in their NCAA Tournament opening round game against West Virginia on March 18, 2016.
• The best free throw shooting team in the Southland Conference continued to rely on their touch from the stripe to get the job done. Of SFA’s 62 points, 23 of them came from the free throw line. That works out to 37.1-percent of SFA’s point total and so far the ‘Jacks are averaging 21 free throws per game.
• Isaiah Traylor registered two of SFA’s three blocked shots during the contest. That pair of blocks represents a new career high for the Tupelo, Miss., product.
• Game-high honors in rebounding went to TJ Holyfield who sprang for nine - or 36-percent of SFA’s total in the non-conference game. The sophomore finished with three of the ‘Jacks’ five offensive rebounds.
• As a team, Stephen F. Austin has thrown down five dunks this season and Leon Gilmore IIIhas been responsible for all of them. The junior took off for a fast break jam in the second half as part of a nine-point outing in his return to the lineup.
• Stephen F. Austin is now 0-5 all-time against Arkansas. Four of those five meetings have taken place inside Bud Walton Arena.
COMING UP NEXT
• Preseason Conference USA favorite UAB is scheduled to pay a visit to William R. Johnson Coliseum to take on the ‘Jacks on Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 7:00 p.m. The game is the third in the all-time series between the Lumberjacks and Blazers and will be the first one to take place in Nacogdoches.