ABILENE, Texas (Press Release)– The Ladyjacks faced off against the Abilene Christian Wildcats on Thursday night at the Moody Coliseum and rose above the mark pulling off a 70-61 win in Abilene. SFA will be bringing home the 12 game win streak after a great first half and a hard fought second half. SFA’s effort was highlighted by Senior Adrienne Lewis capturing her season first double-double tonight with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Scoring wise, senior Brentney Branch led the night with 19 points, twelve of those points off triples. Senior Taylor Ross had another terrific night capping with 18 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds. To round off the four Ladyjacks in double-digits. redshirt junior Stevi Parker had ten points and five rebounds. SFA has a team had nine steals, six of those were from Ross herself, and SFA only forced a season low 15 turnovers against the Wildcats. ACU also outrebounded the Ladyjacks, 36-35, but SFA held the Wildcats to only 30% shooting in the field. The Ladyjacks were 49.0% in the field and 77.3% at the candy stripe.
Abilene Christian had the first score of the evening off from a steal in the SFA opening possession, but the Ladyjacks would settle in after Parker got an easy shot off the blocks. The SFA team went to work after that with Ross taking the lead scoring eight points in the first six minutes. She and Lewis headed the SFA defense on holding the Wildcats scoreless for 4:16 minutes until they pulled a bucket off in the paint to only chip at the 14-7 SFA lead. ACU would take a long two and a half minute possession from three different offensive rebounding chances, until Parker pulled down the defensive rebound that finished in a Ross jumper for the SFA ten point lead, 18-8.
Parker started another SFA run in the second going 9-3 streak, until Abilene Christian found a hole in the SFA defense at the 5:38 minute mark, making the score 23-10. Freshman Riley Harvey capped off a four point unanswered run by SFA that was halted by an ACU triple at the 3:37 minute mark. Both teams traded free-throws for the next three minutes, edging the score to 29-15. Branch got the final points of the first half with a bucket from beyond the arc to double SFA’s score over ACU, 32-15, going into the locker room.
After the intermission, ACU scored first after a 3:48 minute drought. SFA answered back with another Branch three, pushing the SFA lead to 35-19. The Wildcats kept the hammer down as they earned back-to-back threes before Lewis went to work under the net getting the And-1 call. The Ladyjacks extended the lead to a 20 point game after Harvey had a put-back at the 5:29 mark. SFA defense then stepped it up forcing their eighth steal of the night with three minutes to go in the third. They turned around and forced a back court violation call on ACU which made the Wildcats call the early timeout. Sophomore Kennedy Harris took a great look from junior Taylor Jackson for SFA’s second 20 point lead of the game.
The Wildcats started the fourth quarter with a 9-1 run, cutting the SFA score to an 11 point game and forcing SFA to call a time out. Branch came back hot making two triples. She attempted a third, but it fell short and into the hands of Lewis, who went back up for the bucket. Abilene Christian clawed their way back up with a pair of threes to close the gap to a 12 point game with 3:23 to go. The Wildcats kept the foot the gas pedal as they capped another triple to complete an 8-1 run to close the score to 66-61 with 37 seconds left. Parker and Ross hit both their double bonus free-throws to preserve the SFA 70-61 win.
SFA will be back at home on Saturday to host Nicholls on Saturday for another Southland double-header. The women will tip off at 3:30 p.m. CT and the men will follow at 6:00 p.m. CT. Both games will be live streamed on ESPN3 and the Watch ESPN app.