SFA's first 2017 home game pits 'Jacks against Islanders on Wednesday night

SFA's first 2017 home game pits 'Jacks against Islanders on Wednesday night

SFA Athletics

NACOGDOCHES, TX (Press Release)

• On Wednesday night, the Stephen F. Austin men's basketball team aims to continue one of the nation's longest stretches of in-conference dominance at home alive when the 'Jacks welcome Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to William R. Johnson Coliseum for a 7:00 p.m. tip off. ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app will broadcast every second of  the action nationwide with Rob Meyers and Tyler DePascal serving as the play-by-play team. Their call of the Southland Conference tilt can also be heard locally on Q107.7 FM and around the globe on q1077.com or via the TuneIn app for Apple and Android devices.

• All but one of the 'Jacks' triumphs in the 2016-17 campaign have taken place within the walls of William R. Johnson Coliseum. In those victories, SFA has outscored its adversaries by an average of 14.4 points per game and limited them to a shooting clip of 37.1-percent from the field. SFA, meanwhile, has connected on 47.8-percent of its field goals in home wins and has made almost as many free throws (109) as their opponents have attempted (111).

• Beginning with a 67-66 overtime triumph against Sam Houston State on Jan. 25, 2012, Stephen F. Austin has been the victorious team in 17 consecutive Southland Conference games played in William R. Johnson Coliseum in the month of January. In all, the 'Jacks have won 39 straight Southland Conference games in their home facility dating back to Feb. 25, 2012.

• There is not a team in the Southland Conference that gets a bigger share of its points from the free throw line than SFA. The 'Jacks have received 25.5-percent (259 of 1,017) of their points from that distance and are shooting 73.8-percent from there this season.

• In his final season in an Islander uniform, forward Rashawn Thomas is once again putting together a season that will put the Oklahoma City, Okla., product in contention for Southland Conference Player of the Year. Thomas leads the 13-team league in no fewer than three categories including double-doubles (six), free throw attemps (112) and free throws made (81). Additionally, his team-leading figures in points per game (18.9) and rebounds per game (8.6) rank third and second among all Southland players respectively. Defensively, his 2.07 blocked shots and 1.64 steals per game are the third and ninth-best averages when stacked up against all other SLC student-athletes. This past summer, Thomas joined SFA senior Dallas Cameron on a trip to the island nation of New Zealand as part of an Athletes in Action initiative to spread the Christian faith through basketball and fellowship.

• For the second time in as many seasons, the Islanders are one of the nation's top teams in terms of steals per game. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi's defense is averaging 10.2 steals per game - a figure that ranks seventh among all 351 NCAA Division I men's basketball teams.

• No Islanders has more thefts to his credit than senior Ehab Amin. In addition to averaging 18.3 points per game, the Egyptian is averaging 3.71 steals per game - the best average in the nation. His defensive capabilities have helped A&M-CC force 17.07 turnovers per game which is the 13th-most in terms of per game average in the nation.

• Putting the ball in the basket from the field and from the free throw line is something that the Islanders have been doing better than any Southland Conference squad so far this season. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi boasts the best team field goal percentage (48.1-percent, 38th nationally) and the best team free throw accuracy mark (73.8-percent, 60th nationally) in the 13-team league.

• After boasting some of the league's top downtown threats one season ago, the Islanders have changed their firing rate from that distance in 2016-17. So far, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi ranks 343rd out of 351 NCAA Division I men's basketball teams in terms of three-point field goal attempts. The Islanders have launched just 201 three-pointers - the 11th-fewest in the Southland Conference. SFA, conversely, has attempted 289 three-pointers this season which is still over 100 fewer than league-leader Nicholls. The Colonels have tossed up 392 three-point field goal attempts to lead the Southland.

• Playing in just his fifth game of the season, junior Ty Charles put forth his first collegiate double-double effort, scoring a game-best 15 points while adding a game and career-high 14 rebounds, but Stephen F. Austin was unable to overcome a 12-point first half deficit and fell 69-60 at Abilene Christian on Saturday afternoon.

• The loss represented the second-straight Southland Conference setback for the 'Jacks, marking the first time since January 14-21, 2012, that Stephen F. Austin fell in consecutive Southland Conference battles. In those two tilts, the 'Jacks fell to UTSA and UT-Arlington in games which were both decided by 10 or fewer points.

• Abilene Christian scored the victory by getting to the free throw line on 34 occasions. The Wildcats connected on 23 of their tries from that distance, getting exactly one-third of their points from that distance. The 23 free throw makes and 34 free throw attempts represented 2016-17 high marks by an SFA opponent in 2016-17.

• Entering Moody Coliseum on Saturday, Stephen F. Austin junior Isaiah Traylor had connected on just 2 of his 15 three-point tries in true road games. The Tupelo, Miss., product experienced a reversal of fortunes, however, by drilling four of his eight tries inside the facility to give him 12 points on the day. The four three-pointers tied a career-high for Traylor as did his eight attempts from beyond the arc. This season, Traylor has put in multiple three-pointers on five occasions.

• Charles' rebound total of 14 represented almost 40-percent of the 'Jacks' team sum as SFA claimed a 37-28 edge on the glass against the Wildcats. On the offensive glass, SFA finished with a 14-6 advantage which led to a 13-2 SFA edge in second-chance points.

• The 'Jacks' 13 second-chance points represented the eighth time in 2016-17 where SFA has racked up 10 or more. More digging into the second-chance points statistic uncovers that SFA's differential of +11 in that category is tied for the highest in a single game in 2016-17. Furthermore, the 'Jacks held Abilene Christian to only two second-chance points - a season-low by Lumberjack opponents.

• Stephen F. Austin captured one of their two early leads in the game with 15:26 left in the first half when Isaiah Traylor hit the first of his four three-pointers. The Wildcats, however, responded with a 9-0 surge over the next 4:14 to take the lead for the remainder of the game.

• Facing a 33-21 deficit at the break, Stephen F. Austin proceeded to start the final 20-minute half on a 10-0 run to cut Abilene Christian's lead to just two, 33-31. All 10 of those SFA points were scored in the first 2:31 of the second half, giving the 'Jacks almost one-half of their first-half point total (21) in that short span.

• Between the two of them, Ivan Canete and TJ Holyfield played only 11 minutes in the first half and were each whistled for a trio of personal foul infractions during that span. Canete returned in the second half and scored all eight of his points in that frame. Five of his eight points came during the 'Jacks' 10-0 run to begin the half.

• SFA managed to tie the score on three occasions in the second half, but the Wildcats responded with runs of 5-0, 6-0 and 4-0 respectively after each of the three deadlocks to regain the advantage.

• Sophomore Jovan Grujic made his second-ever appearance in the starting lineup and in an 11-minute performance, the Pancevo, Serbia, product scored two points, grabbed two rebounds and blocked his third shot of the season.

• TJ Holyfield added another blocked shot to his career total, upping his number of rejections to 68.

• Dallas Cameron passed out a team-high four assists in the 'Jacks' loss. It marks the sixth time this season that the senior has led SFA in assists in a single game.

• The 'Jacks' loss to Abilene Christian snapped SFA's nine-game winning streak against the Wildcats. It was ACU's first win in the series since scoring a 54-48 decision against the 'Jacks in Huntsville, Texas, on Feb. 21, 1981. SFA's nine consecutive wins represented the longest winning streak by either team in the series which started back in 1927. ACU won five of the first six meetings between the two programs, but SFA leads the all-time series 17-15.

• Below is a full breakdown of where Stephen F. Austin's points came from in their Southland Conferene setback at Abilene Christian:
Two-pointers | 50.0% (30-60)
Three-pointers | 40.0% (24-60)
Free throws | 10.0% (6-60)
Points in the paint | 50.0% (30-60)
Points off turnovers | 21.7% (13-60)
Second chance points | 21.7% (13-60)
Starters points | 45.0% (27-60)
Bench Points | 55.0% (33-60)

• Since the 2013-14 season began, Stephen F. Austin has been one of the nation's most successful teams in conference play, losing just a small fraction of their games against in-league opponents.
• In that time, the 'Jacks have won 94.7-percent of their conference games, going 54-3 for the nation's second-best in-conference winning percentage in that time span.
• Wichita State out of the Missouri Valley Conference is the only team that has posted a higher in-conference winning percentage than SFA in that span, going 55-3 (.948 win percentage). Defending NCAA Division I men's basketball champion Villanova (51-7, .877 win percentage) from the BIG EAST rounds out the nation's top three teams in that classification.
• Additionally, SFA's 54 conference victories since the 2013-14 season represents the second-highest number in the nation.

• No man on the 'Jacks' roster possesses more on-court experience than senior Dallas Cameron, and the Pompano Beach, Fla., product will be looked to in order to provide leadership to a team that is still finding its footing.

• The only two seniors in college basketball who have a better in-conference winning percentage than Cameron are John Robert Simon and Zach Bush at Wichita State. Cameron has won 94.7-percent of the conference games he has played in throughout his career (54-3). Cameron is the only four-year senior in NCAA Division I men's basketball who has never lost a conference home game, too.

• In all, Cameron has posted a record of 95-23 (.805 winning percentage) through his collegiate basketball career and is shooting to become the just the fifth player in SFA history to record 100 wins in a career. He would join former Lumberjack greats Desmond Haymon, Jacob Parker, Trey Pinkney and Thomas Walkup on that exclusive list.

• The tradition of preventing opponents from scoring points is still alive and well at Stephen F. Austin as the 'Jacks boast the Southland Conference's third-best scoring defense. So far this season, SFA's opponents are averaging just 70.6 points per game.

• In Southland Conference game's SFA's scoring defense is allowing only 63.0 points per game. That ranks second in the 13-team league behind only Houston Baptist (52.2 opp. ppg in SLC game).

• Keeping the same high-intensity defense that the program has hung its hat on in recent memory, the 'Jacks once again rank in the upper tier of NCAA Division I men's basketball teams in turnovers forced per game.

• So far this season, the 'Jacks are forcing 16.53 turnovers per game. That's the fourth-best average in the Southland Conference and the 22nd-best nationally.

• Opponents of Stephen F. Austin are turning the ball over on 22.6-percent of their total possessions according to the KenPom charts. That percentage ranks third among all Southland Conference programs and 21st among all 351 NCAA Division I men's basketball teams.

• Sidelined with a hand injury following a 32-minute outing in the 'Jacks' season opener at then-No. 2-ranked Kentucky, junior and Preseason All-Southland Conference second-team choice Ty Charles is back in action for SFA and is providing a significant boost to SFA's lineup.

• Since his return for SFA on Christmas Day in Honolulu, Hawaii against Utah in the fifth-place game of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, the Kennedale, Texas, product is averaging 9.8 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Two of the three games in which Charles has grabbed 10 or more rebounds in his collegiate career have occurred since his return on Dec. 25, 2016.

• In Southland Conference games only, Charles ranks sixth among all league players with 8.7 rebounds per game and fifth in terms of defensive rebounds, pulling down an average of 6.3 per game. 

• On Saturday night, the 'Jacks will make a bid for their ninth win in a row against Nicholls when the Colonels march into William R. Johnson Coliseum for a 6:00 p.m. tilt with Stephen F. Austin. Nicholls started off 2-0 in Southland Conference play, capturing wins over Incarnate Word and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to start their league season and is in search of its first win over SFA in Nacogdoches since Dec. 28, 2000.