NACOGDOCHES, Texas (Press Release) – Stephen F. Austin took a run-away win over the Prairie View A&M Panthers on Tuesday night. The Ladyjacks had five Ladyjacks in the double-digit points. Freshman Riley Harvey had a career high night with 19 points and five rebounds. Sophomore Kia Fisker also had a career high rebounds grabbing down six boards. Senior Taylor Ross had 18 points on the night and six assists. Senior Brentney Branch was right behind with 17 points and five assists on the night. Redshirt junior Stevi Parker was two rebounds shy of another double-double. She had 14 points and eight rebounds. And lastly senior Adrienne Lewis rounded the team out with 10 points. The SFA defense created 13 steals and forced 21 turnovers against the Panthers. On total rebounds, SFA squeaked by again 41 to their 40 boards. In the field, the Ladyjacks shot 28-60 (46.7%) and went 26-32 (81.3%) at the stripe.
“For the most part, I am pretty proud of the effort. The fourth quarter got really ugly and sloppy, but we had a bunch of young kids out there. For those first three quarter, I feel like that was the most complete as we have been all year,” said Head Coach Mark Kellogg. “We spread the ball out really well and got a lot of people involved offensively. I just keep preaching to these kids that we have a lot of players who can score different ways. We just have to trust each other. The more we keep the ball hot, the more we move that basketball, the harder we are going to be to guard offensively. I thought we did a pretty good job, for the most part, offensively. I know that they got us on the boards, most of it late in the game. We turned it over a lot late, but for the most part that was pretty good.”
Lewis opened the buckets for SFA in the first 20 seconds of play. Ross followed up with a layup on the next drive. Prairie View came back with a triple and an And-1 situation to close it to a one point game at the 7:33 minute mark. SFA then on a 7-3 streak to stretch a five point game. Prairie View A&M came back with back-to back bucket to take the lead for 24 seconds before Parker hit both of her free-throws for the 15-14 SFA lead with 3:12 to go in the first. SFA finished with a buzzer beater triple by Branch for the 24-16 lead at the end of the first.
The Panthers came back with a 7-5 streak before Branch and sophomore Chanell Hayes hit back-to-back threes forcing Prairie View to call the early timeout. Both teams would stay silent for six minutes and 19 seconds until Parker started an eight point run for SFA with 3:41 left in the second. Buckets from Ross and Harvey sent SFA into a 20 point lead over the Panthers in the third. Prairie View got one more bucket off before the halftime buzzer making it 50-32 going into the locker room.
After the intermission, SFA started the third with a quick 10-0 run until the Panthers got a steal and a layup at the 7:21 minute mark. SFA went on to stretch the run to 18-6 to take the 30 point lead at the third media timeout. Branch and Ross teamed up for two steals and layups and before you know it SFA doubled the score over the Panthers 76-38. The Ladyjacks and Panthers split a 4-6 run making the score 80-44 going into the fourth.
Play slowed down in the fourth quarter with a Panther 6-2 run in the first 3:31 of the quarter, but SFA kept the big lead 82-50. The Panthers went on another little 11-6 spurt before the last media timeout. SFA finished out with 88-64 win over the Panthers.
The Ladyjacks will be back in action after the winter break for the start of conference play. SFA will host Houston Baptist in a double-header on New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31st). The women will tip off at 1:30 p.m. CT, and the men will follow after at 4:00 p.m. CT. Both game will be live streamed on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.