NACOGDOCHES, TX (Press Release)
FAST BREAK POINTS
• On Wednesday night in William R. Johnson Coliseum, the Stephen F. Austin men’s basketball team will take a shot at its 15th-straight victory over Southland Conference opponent Central Arkansas when the two squads match up at 8:00 p.m. As has been the case for all of the ‘Jacks’ home tilts this season, ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app will stream every second of the Southland Conference clash nationally with Rob Meyers and Tyler DePascal narrating the action.
• Over the radio waves, fans came tune their FM dials to Q107.7 in the Nacogdoches area or head to q1077.com or the TuneIn app on Apple and Android devices to hear Meyers’ and DePascal’s call of the game.
• Central Arkansas is one of two current Southland Conference teams that the ‘Jacks have never lost to. Since the series started in Conway, Ark., back in 2007, SFA has gone 14-0 against the Bears with 18.5 points serving as the average margin of victory.
• In a bid to extend the nation’s longest in-conference home winning streak to 42 games, the ‘Jacks will likely rely heavily on the top scoring defense in the Southland Conference. The ‘Jacks are allowing just 60.4 points per game to league opponents, which translates to the seventh-best in-conference scoring defense in the nation.
• During the Wednesday night conference bout, SFA’s coaching staff will swap out its dress shoes in favor of tennis shoes with gold laces, joining over 4,000 coaches from around the nation who are participating in the both the Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Week and Princess Lacey’s Laces. By doing so, the goal is to raise awareness and financial support for the American Center Society - a place for help and support for all those who have been affected by cancer.
SCOUTING CENTRAL ARKANSAS | ROSTER | SCHEDULE | STATISTICS
• Not just the number he wears on the court, one is where Central Arkansas junior Jordan Howard stands in many of the league’s statistical categories. Howard leads the league in total points (382), field goal attempts (269), three-pointers attempted (141), three-pointers made (63), three-pointers made per game (3.15) and free throw percentage (93.8). Just two other NCAA Division I men’s basketball players in the nation own a better free throw shooting percentage this season than Howard.
• Central Arkansas joins Incarnate Word and Southeastern Louisiana as the only programs in the Southland Conference that boast three of the top 20 point producers in the 13-team league. Junior Jordan Howard ranks second in the league in scoring at 19.1 points per game while teammates Mathieu Kamba (14.3 ppg) and Derreck Brooks (12.9 ppg) sit 13th and 17th respectively in the league scoring standings.
• No team has shown a more accurate touch at the free throw line in Southland Conference play than Central Arkansas. The Bears have put in 82.1-percent (124-151) of their tries at the foul line in league play. In all games this season, UCA’s free throw percentage stands at 74.1 - second only to SFA’s league-leading figure of 74.3 percent.
• The lowest-ranked scoring defense in the 13-team Southland Conference belongs to Central Arkansas. UCA’s opponents are averaging 84.2 points per game and the Bears also sit last in the league statistical rankings in terms of scoring margin (-13.3) and turnover margin (-3.75).
• Central Arkansas is one of only two men’s basketball teams in the 13-team Southland Conference that boasts two of the league’s top-ten rebounding threats. Mathieu Kamba leads UCA and ranks seventh in the Southland with a rebounding average of 7.1 per game while Derreck Brooks is grabbing rebounds at a rate of 6.8 per game which stands as the 10th-best average among all Southland players.
• Earlier this month, Central Arkansas snapped its 15-game losing streak in games played in the state of Texas. The Bears did so by capturing an 81-76 triumph at Southland Conference rival Abilene Christian on Jan. 5, and followed that up with an 89-78 win at Houston Baptist on Jan. 12. UCA is now 2-1 in games played in the Lone Star state this season and prior to its win at Abilene Christian, Central Arkansas’ last win in the state of Texas came on Feb. 28, 2013, when is captured a 106-99 double-overtime win at Lamar.
• The Bears are one of four teams who are tied for sixth place in the Southland Conference standings. After going 1-11 through their first 12 games of the season, the Bears have won three of their seven Southland Conference tilts and have won as many road games this season as they did from 2013-16 (three).
LAST TIME OUT | INCARNATE WORD 70, SFA 68 | RECAP + STATS
• A corner three-pointer - the 10th long-range basket of the night by Incarnate Word - off the hands of Shawn Johnson with 4.8 seconds remaining served as the final points in Stephen F. Austin’s 70-68 Southland Conference loss to UIW last Saturday night in the McDermott Convocation Center.
• SFA ran into an Incarnate Word squad that showed little to no interest in cooling down from three-point range as the game wore on. The Cardinals made good on 55.6-percent of their three-point baskets to secure the win. It was the most accurate touch an SFA opponent has shown from beyond the arc in 2016-17 and was the best a ‘Jack foe had shot from downtown since Baylor put in 56.3-percent of its tries from that distance in SFA’s 2015-16 opener.
• The success that Incarnate Word was having from long range was a reversal of the ‘Jacks’ fortunes from downtown in San Antonio. SFA hit only two three-pointers - its fewest in a game this season - and connected on a season-low 12.5-percent of its tries from that distance.
• Ivan Canete and Leon Gilmore III combined to produce 45.6-percent of the ‘Jacks’ total offensive output, putting in 31 of SFA’s 68 points. Gilmore III dropped in 15 points, made a career-best seven free throws and finished one rebound shy of his second double-double in an SFA uniform.
• Canete wrapped up a highly productive road trip defensively by nabbing a game-high four steals against Incarnate Word. In his last two games, Canete is averaging five steals per game.
• Dallas Cameron put an end to one of the most accurate nights at the free throw line of the 2016-17 campaign for SFA by knocking down two free throws that handed SFA a 68-67 lead with 28 seconds remaining. As a team, the ‘Jacks connected on 22 of their 26 tries from the foul line.
• SFA enjoyed a 32-31 advantage at the conclusion of the first half. Prior to Saturday’s game, the ‘Jacks were 6-0 in games in which they possessed a halftime lead. The last time SFA lost a game at which it led at halftime was on Nov. 27, 2015, when it dropped a 60-59 decision to Tulane in its second game of the Challenge in Music City in Nashville, Tenn. In that game, the ‘Jacks lost their grip on a 41-28 advantage at the break.
• The back-and-forth game featured a total of 13 ties and 15 lead changes. Headed into Saturday night’s game against the Cardinals, the ‘Jacks had experienced only nine ties and 10 lead changes through all five of their games in the 2017 calendar year.
• Leading a 24-point effort by the Lumberjacks’ bench, junior forward Josh Huntley tied a career high with nine points in the loss. The Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., product connected on three of his four field goals and put in a career-high three free throws. Huntley also tied his career high in rebounds by grabbing six of them through his 11 minutes of action.
• Largely on the strength of freshman Jorden Kite’s 6-for-8 showing from three-point range, Incarnate Word held a 14-point edge in bench points over the ‘Jacks. That was SFA’s biggest disadvantage in bench scoring since finishing -27 in that category against Tulsa in the opening game of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic on Dec. 22. Incarnate Word’s 38 bench points were the third-most by an SFA opponent this season trailing only Centenary (50) and Tulsa (42).
• Through the second half, each team missed just one free throw. SFA and Incarnate Word combined to go 28-for-30 (93.3-percent) at the free throw line during the final 20 minutes of action and 37.3-percent of the 75 points scored in the second half by both teams came from the foul stripe.
• The loss for SFA was its first in program history to Incarnate Word. Heading into Saturday night’s game, the ‘Jacks had won each of the previous five matchups between their Southland Conference rivals from San Antonio by an average of 20.2 points per game.
• With the loss, the ‘Jacks’ three-game Southland Conference winning streak came to an end. Currently, SFA site in a tie for fourth place in the league standings with Lamar. Both of the squads have a 4-3 record through seven games in Southland Conference games.
• Despite their loss in San Antonio, the ‘Jacks remain locked in the heated race for the 2016-17 Southland Conference regular season title. The ‘Jacks are only two games behind league-leading New Orleans, 1.5 games behind Sam Houston State for second place and one game back of third-place Southeastern Louisiana with 11 regular season games remaining.
• Below is a full breakdown of where Stephen F. Austin’s points came from in their Southland Conference setback at Incarnate Word:
Two-pointers | 58.8% (40-68)
Three-pointers | 8.8% (6-68)
Free throws | 32.4% (22-68)
Points in the paint | 44.1% (30-68)
Points off turnovers | 26.5% (18-68)
Second chance points | 20.6% (14-68)
Starters points | 64.7% (44-68)
Bench Points | 35.3% (24-68)
A SELECT GROUP
• Of the 351 NCAA Division I men’s basketball teams in the nation, there are just 17 that least their respective conferences in both scoring defense in all games and scoring defense in conference-only games.
• SFA is one of these teams, and is joined by Dayton (Atlantic 10) Virginia (ACC), Villanova (BIG EAST), Liberty (Big South), Wisconsin (Big 10), Baylor (Big 12), College of Charleston (CAA), North Carolina Central (MEAC), Illinois State (MVC), San Diego State (Mountain West), Wagner (NEC) Oregon (Pac-12), South Carolina (SEC), Jackson State (SWAC), Texas State (Sun Belt), and Saint Mary’s (West Coast Conference).
• Through the past five games, the three-point shooting of junior guard Isaiah Traylor has been trending upward in drastic fashion.
• Heading into the ‘Jacks’ Southland Conference game at Abilene Christian on Jan. 7, 2017, the Tupelo, Miss., product had connected on only 26-percent (12-for-46) of his tries from long range.
• Starting with a 4-for-8 showing in Abilene against the Wildcats, Traylor’s long range shooting has started to stretch the floor for the ‘Jacks. In his last five games, the junior has hit 11 of his 22 tries from three-point range, good for a 50-percent success rate.
• That has caused his season three-point percentage to rise 7.8-percent - from 26 to 33.6.
• In Southland Conference games, Traylor is hitting 41.9-percent of his tries from beyond the arc which is the ninth-best average among all league players.
• Since the 2013-14 season began, Stephen F. Austin has been 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 93.4-percent of their Southland Conference games, going 57-4 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 an in-conference winning percentage that rivals SFA’s in that span, going 58-4 (.935 win percentage). Defending NCAA Division I men’s basketball champion Villanova (55-7, .887 win percentage) from the BIG EAST rounds out the nation’s top three teams in that classification.
• Additionally, SFA’s 57 conference victories since the 2013-14 season represents the second-highest number in the nation.
• 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 1.8 points ahead of sophomore TJ Holyfield for the team lead.
• One of the best pure shooters in the Southland Conference, Canete is knocking on the door of the 50-40-90 club, which is to say shooting 50-percent or higher from the field, 40-percent or higher from three-point range and 90-percent or higher from the free throw line.
• The Lake Worth, Fla., product has put in 50.6-percent (79-of-156) of his field goals, 44.2-percent (34-of-77) of his three-point field goal tries and 84.5-percent (49-of-58) of his free throw attempts.
• Through his last two games, Canete has rocketed up the NCAA Division I statistics charts, going from unranked to 80th in the nation with a free-throw percentage of 84.5. That is the third-highest average among all Southland Conference players.
• With 10 steals in his last two outings, the junior has hiked his season average to 1.6 per game - the 14th-highest in the Southland Conference. In league games, his average of 2.9 thefts per game ranks second among all conference student-athletes.
• Noted basketball statistics guru Ken Pomeroy has once again compiled a chart that ranks all 351 NCAA Division I men’s basketball teams across a multitude of unique categories.
• Stephen F. Austin is in the upper echelon of the nation’s teams in a number of these categories, including the following:
• Opponent turnover percentage (% of possessions in which opponents turn the ball over) | 23.5% | Ninth nationally | 2nd in Southland
• Steal percentage (% of opponent possessions than end in a steal by SFA) | 10.7% | 40th nationally | 2nd in Southland
• Percentage of points from free throws | 22.9% | 50th nationally | 4th in Southland
• Strength of non-conference schedule | +4.16 | 59th nationally
• Bench minutes | 40% | 30th nationally | 2nd in Southland
COMING UP NEXT
• In their final Januaruy home game of the season, the 'Jacks play host to league-leading New Orleans at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday night.
• SFA is 3-0 all-time against the Privateers and will shoot for its fourth win in a row over their Southland Conference rivals from Louisiana on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.