NACOGDOCHES, Texas (Press Release)– The Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks have had a rollercoaster last two weeks with many highs and lows for the team. With the loss in overtime against rival Northwestern State last Saturday, SFA has been pushed back into fourth place in the Southland Conference rankings. Despite all this, the Ladyjacks have moved up several places in statistical rankings as well as had some career performances. Their won-lost percentage of 81 percent has kept the Ladyjacks at 20th in the national standings. After shooting 80 percent from the free-throw line at Northwestern State, the Ladyjacks are 15th on the NCAA lists for makes and attempts at the charity stripe. The SFA defense continues to pound their opponents as they have moved up the scales to sixth in the nation for turnovers forced (22.29) and are 16th for steals per game (11.5).
Two players have had outstanding performances this past week, senior Taylor Ross hit 1500 points for her career total and senior Brentney Branch has eclipsed her own school record for three-point makes and attempts in a single game.
Ross first made her 1,000-point career mark on February 13, 2016 during a 72-59 win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Nearly a year to the day, Ross has now hit the 1,500-point milestone. The Pflugerville, Texas native has totaled 1,510 point in her career and has become the eleventh top scorer in the SFA Ladyjacks program history.
Branch made her own history mark last Thursday, Feb. 2, during the Sam Houston game when she sunk seven shots from beyond the arc. The three-point shooter from Houston, Texas broke her career-high record, which also ties her with six former players, for the most triples scored in a single game. Also that night, Branch attempted 16 three-pointers, a new school record for most attempts in a single game. Within her career, she has sunk 201 triples and attempted 556, the third best mark in Ladyjack history.
The Ladyjacks will now be on the road for the final game of this road series on Wednesday in Thibodeaux, La. The Nicholls Colonels and Ladyjacks have met 52 times in the past, including a game earlier this season on January 14. SFA now leads the all-time series 45-6, and the Ladyjacks are 20-4 on the road against Nicholls. The game earlier this year ended with a SFA 80-55 win with the help of a career night from redshirt junior Stevi Parker. She had her third season double-double that night with 20 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists.
Last time out: SFA faced conference rival Northwestern State last Saturday afternoon. The Ladyjacks had a terrific first half pulling a 13-point lead at the end of the second quarter, but Northwestern State came out determined after halftime and overwhelmed the Ladyjacks forcing the game to go into overtime. Ross and sophomore Kennedy Harris added points during overtime, but the Lady Demons won out 76-72.
Three Ladyjacks were in double-digits. Ross totaled her ninth 20-point game of the season, posting 24 points, five rebounds, and six assists. Harris broke her career high points totaling 16 points and four rebounds. Branch also had 16 points and five assists. Parker led the Ladyjacks on the boards pulling down 10 rebounds, all on the defensive side, and putting up five points.
Scouting Nicholls: The Colonels were edged out on Saturday, Feb. 4, by New Orleans, 81-77. Junior guard Tia Charles had a career-high 25-point game against the Privateers. Her teammate sophomore Cassidy Barrios elevated her team in second half by making 18 of her 20 points in the second half, but New Orleans had five players score in the double-digits, led by Randi Brown, who made the final free-throws to seal the game for UNO. Nicholls has split the last six games with three wins and three losses.
Next up: The Ladyjacks’ next game will be back at home on Feb. 11 for a match-up against Lamar. The game will be SFA’s Play4Kay Pink Out game. The game starts at 3:30 p.m., but make sure to come out early for a pre-game presentation and make sure to wear pink. The game will be live streamed on ESPN3 and the Watch ESPN app.