'Jacks host Nicholls on Saturday in battle of first-year head coaches

'Jacks host Nicholls on Saturday in battle of first-year head coaches

SFA Athletics

NACOGDOCHES, TX (Press Release)


• In order to string together back-to-back Southland Conference wins for the first time in the Kyle Keller coaching era, the Stephen F. Austin men's basketball team will hit the floor of William R. Johnson Coliseum at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday night to do battle with a Nicholls squad that is eager to put an end to a two-game skid and secure its first Southland Conference road victory of the 2016-17 season. ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app will carry the Southland Conference clash nationally with Rob Meyers and Tyler DePascal handling play-by-play and analysis responsibilities. In Nacogdoches, fans can turn their radio dials to Q107.7 FM for the radio broadcast of the tilt and the radio feed is also offered around the globe at q1077.com or via the TuneIn app on Apple and Android devices.

• Propelled by two of the top ten scorers in the Southland Conference in DeAndre Harris (18.1 ppg) and Ja'Dante' Frye (15.9 ppg), the Colonels enter Nacogdoches on an eight-game slide against the 'Jacks. SFA will try to take advantage of a Nicholls field goal percentage defense that ranks last in the 13-team Southland Conference as the Colonels are allowing their opposition to hit 47.2-percent of their shots.

• Through four game in Southland Conference play, the 'Jacks' boast the best scoring defense in league play among the 13 teams in the conference. SFA is giving up only 58.8 points per game to league adversaries, which stands as the eighth-best in-conference scoring defense in the nation so far this season.

• Currently, SFA is back at the .500 mark and tied for seventh in Southland Conference play following their win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Wednesday. Entering that game, SFA was below .500 in conference play for the first time since 2/2/11.


3.94 | On Saturday evening, the nation's leading shot blocker comes into William R. Johnson Coliseum in the form of Nicholls senior Liam Thomas. The 7'0 Australian is rejecting shots at an average of 3.94 per game and has 67 blocked shots this season. Both of those numbers are tops among all NCAA Division I men's basketball players this season.

424 | Firing away from three-point range has been the modus operandi of the Colonels so far this season. Nicholls has thrown up 494 shots from three-point land this season, swishing 150 of those tries. As a result, the Colonels lead the Southland conference in three-point field goal attempts, three-point field goals made and three-point field goals made per game (8.8).

.200 | After collecting a season-opening win over ACC foe Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Mass., the Colonels have gone just 1-7 in road games since, giving them a winning percentage of .200 in games of that configuration. Since the 2015-16 season, the Colonels have won just one Southland Conference road game, making them 1-10 during that span. The last time Nicholls secured a win over the 'Jacks in Nacogdoches was on Dec. 29, 2000 - a little over 16 years ago.

18.1/15.9 | The inside/outside punch of DeAndre Harris and Ja'Dante' Frye has been working for the Colonels. Harris is putting in 18.1 ppg with Frye adding 15.9 and both of them have been named SLC Player of the Week once this season.

LAST TIME OUT AGAINST NICHOLLS (Feb. 20, 2016) | SFA 88, Nicholls 53 | RECAP

• Thomas Walkup and Trey Pinkney tied Jacob Parker as the winningest players in the history of the Stephen F. Austin men's basketball program and the former became the club's new NCAA Division I-era rebounding leader as the 'Jacks reeled off their 15th-straight victory of the 2015-16 season.

• The win over the Colonels served as the eighth in a row for the Lumberjacks. That's the second-longest winning streak by any team in the series, surpassed only by a run of nine consecutive SFA wins from Feb. 3, 1986 until Feb. 19, 1990.

• Clide Geffrard finished one rebound shy of a double-double and put in a game-high 19 points. Walkup put forth a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double in the win.

• Looking to avoid their third-straight Southland Conference loss, the 'Jacks came out swinging in their first home game of 2017 and handed Texas A&M-Corpus Christi its worst Southland Conference loss in the Islanders' history via a 79-46 score in William R. Johnson Coliseum on Wednesday night.

• With their 33-point shellacking of the Islanders, the 'Jacks are now responsible for handing Texas A&M-Corpus Christi its two biggest Southland Conference defeats in the history of the Islanders' program. Back on Feb. 25, 2012, SFA waxed the Islanders by an identical 33-point margin, 74-41.

• All the 'Jacks did on defense was hold the Islanders - who entered William R. Johnson Coliseum averaging 77.9 points per game - to their lowest offensive output of the season. Prior to Wednesday night, the Islanders had mustered just 46 points against one other team in 2016-17. That squad was No. 19-ranked St. Mary's, who defeated Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 67-46 back on Dec. 20, 2016.

• The primary perpetrator of the Islanders' destruction proved to be junior guard Ivan Canete who poured in a game-high 24 points on the strength of a career-best six three-pointers. Twenty-one of Canete's points came in the second half and the Lake Worth, Fla., product put in more field goals during that frame (eight) than the entire Texas A&M-Corpus Christi team did (seven). 

• At no point in the 40-minute Southland Conference contest did the 'Jacks trail the Islanders. That signified the first time in the Kyle Keller coaching era in which SFA led wire-to-wire in a game and served as the 'Jacks' first wire-to-wire win since March 11, 2016, when they handled Houston Baptist 104-68 in the semifinals of the Southland Conference Tournament.

• Joining Canete's long-distance assault on the Islanders was fellow junior Isaiah Traylor who put in 13 points on 4-for-10 shooting from the field. The Tupelo, Miss., product hit three of his six tries from three-point range and has now connected on 50-percent (7-of-14) of his triples in the last two games. This comes after the junior started Southland Conference play by shooting only 2-for-9 from three-point range through two games.

• From the free throw line, Traylor is one of just two players in the Southland Conference who have not misfired in Southland Conference play. The junior is 6-for-6 from the stripe in league games, joining Central Arkansas senior Derreck Brooks as the only individuals who have no free throw misses to their credit in league play.

• On the glass, the 'Jacks put forth their largest rebounding margin of the season, snagging a season-best 51 caroms compared to only 29 by the Islanders. The 51 rebounds represented the 'Jacks' first outing of 50 or more rebounds since they collected 53 in an 86-58 home win over Arkansas Tech back on Dec. 12, 2015.

• SFA's +22 edge on the glass on Wednesday night marked the first time since March 2, 2015 that the 'Jacks out-rebounded an opponent by 20. On that date, SFA grabbed 42 rebounds while limiting Incarnate Word to 21.

• Wednesday's night's rebounding margin was the largest by an SFA team over an opponent since Nov. 8, 2013, when the 'Jacks finished +25 (38-13) in a season opening win over UT-Tyler.

• The 'Jacks pushed their all-time record against the Islanders to 17-4 (.809) with the win. It was SFA's fourth-straight victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

• Junior Josh Huntley tied his career high in rebounding by pulling down six for the 'Jacks.

• In the second half, the 'Jacks' put the clamps on the Islanders from the field. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi suffered field goal droughts of 5:43 and 3:34 during the final 20 minutes of play

• By allowing the Islanders to produce just 46 points, the 'Jacks' matched their best defensive effort in a Southland Conference showdown in almost five years. Last year, SFA limited Incarnate Word to 46 points in an 84-46 victory on Feb. 15, 2016. Prior to that, the lowest point total produced against SFA by a Southland Conference foe was 42 by Sam Houston State back on March 7, 2013.

• With the win, the 'Jacks continue to be the only current team in the nation with a roster that has never experienced a home conference loss.

• Below is a full breakdown of where Stephen F. Austin's points came from in their Southland Conference triumph over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi:
Two-pointers | 45.6% (36-79)
Three-pointers | 41.8% (33-79)
Free throws | 12.7% (10-79)
Points in the paint | 43.0% (34-79)
Points off turnovers | 26.6% (21-79)
Second chance points | 21.5% (17-79)
Starters points | 69.7% (55-79)
Bench Points | 30.3% (24-79)

• After securing a 33-point victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Wednesday night, the 'Jacks extended their Southland Conference home winning streak to 40 games.

• That stretch started, oddly enough, with a 33-point win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi back on Feb. 25, 2012.

• Of those 40 wins, all but five have come by 10 or more points. The last time a team played the 'Jacks to fewer than 10 points in William R. Johnson Coliseum came back on March 7, 2015, when SFA edged Sam Houston State 64-55.

• In the 'Jacks' program history, however, their current run of 40 Southland wins in a row ranks second in terms of conference home winning streaks.

• Beginning on Jan. 14, 1967, Stephen F. Austin rattled off 51 Lone Star Conference home wins in a row under the direction of then-head coach Marshall Brown. That streak was snapped on Jan. 27, 1973, when Sam Houston State captured an 83-68 victory over the 'Jacks.

• SFA has out-rebounded their opponents in 12 of their 16 games

• SFA leads the Southland Conference in both rebounding margin (+4.8) and rebounding defense (29.9).

• Junior and SFA newcomer Ivan Canete is making a bid to become the first newcomer to lead the 'Jacks in scoring since Josh Alexander did so in the 2005-06 season.

• Canete currently leads the 'Jacks in scoring at 12.7 points per game - putting him nine-tenths of a point ahead of sophomore TJ Holyfield for the team lead.

• A little over one week after handing Texas A&M-Corpus Christi its worst Southland Conference loss in program history, the 'Jacks head down to American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas, to try and finish a season sweep of the Islanders

• Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. and the tilt will be televised live on ROOT Sports Southwest.