NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Stephen F. Austin received a program first this week when College Insider announced that the Ladyjacks made it to the Top 25 Mid-Major list this past Tuesday. With 76 points in the poll this week, SFA has moved into the No. 25 spot and ranks with other schools like Jacksonville, Northern Illinois, and Harvard. The honor is the first for the program since the creation of the Mid-Major poll in 2010.
On the NCAA lists, the Ladyjacks have steadily risen to the thirteenth in the nation for their win-loss percentage (87.5) and have moved to fifteenth and tenth spot for free throw makes and attempts, respectfully. They are seventeenth in the nation for steal per game and seventh for turnovers forced. In conference standings, the Ladyjacks continue to lead the league with the help of becoming the number one ranked scoring offense, which averages 74.6 points per game. After Lamar lost to Abilene Christian last week, SFA now has the sole claim to first in the conference.
SFA will be seeking their sixth program win against Incarnate Word in tomorrow's game. Since UIW joined the Southland Conference in 2013, SFA had dominated the series 5-0 with every win being a double-digit lead. The first game between these two opponents was the 2013-14 season and a 79-59 SFA win at home. The last clash of UIW and SFA was in San Antonio last season and resulted in another SFA win, 82-66.
Last Time Out: SFA hosted Nicholls last Saturday, Jan. 14. The Ladyjacks extended their streak to 13 games after the 80-55 rout with the Colonels. Two Ladyjacks were in double-digits that night, senior Taylor Ross and redshirt junior Stevi Parker. Parker had a career night tying both her career game high points and career three-pointers in a game. The forward from Bixby, Okla. had 20 points with two of the buckets from beyond the arch. She also racked up her third season double-double and career sixth, with the 20 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists. Ross claimed 19 points, with 15 of those solely from the third quarter. As a team, SFA had a tremendous third quarter, putting up a season high 33 points in just the third quarter. The Ladyjacks outrebounded the Colonels 45-32 and kept them to only 30.4 percent in the field. On the other side, SFA was fifty percent from the field and sixty percent at the charity stripe.
Scouting Incarnate Word: UIW is coming off their first sweep of a Southland Conference opponent since joining the league with a monumental 96-56 win over Southeastern Louisiana on Thursday night. Senior forward Celia Garcia pulled off her tenth double-double of the season, with 24 points and 24 rebounds. The 40-point margin was the Cardinals largest since becoming a member of the SLC. The win snapped an 18 game losing streak against SLC opponents at home. The Cardinals were attacking the board with everything they had and came up outrebounding the Lions 61-22. They had a 20-0 edge on second chances alone. Freshman guard Imani Johnson also tallied a double-double on Thursday night, scoring 20 points and 11 boards. The win against SELA was the first victory for the Cardinals after a four-game losing streak to Northwestern, New Orleans, Lamar, and HBU.