NEW ORLEANS, La.(Press Release) – Stephen F. Austin took on the New Orleans Privateers on Thursday night in the Lakefront Arena. The Ladyjacks persevered through a difficult first quarter to take an eight point lead at the half and then increase it to a 13-point lead in the third. New Orleans fought back hard in the fourth to make it a one point game with a minute to go, but the Ladyjacks consistency at the free-throw line saved the win, 71-67. Senior Taylor Ross had a game-high 30 points against New Orleans. She went 11-14 from the field and 8-9 at the charity stripe. Junior Taylor Jackson had nine points on the night, while redshirt junior Stevi Parker had eight points and five rebounds. Senior Adrienne Lewis led the Ladyjacks on the boards with 13 rebounds, ten of those on the defensive side. She helped the Ladyjacks outrebound the Privateers, 38-36. SFA finished their eighth game this season shooting over fifty percent from the field. They shot 52.8% from the field and went 70.6% at the free-throw line.
Lewis scored the first basket for SFA from a foul call under the basket. Ross then scored back-to-back buckets to tie the game at five each at the 8:20 mark. The Privateers went on a seven point run where they held the Ladyjacks scoreless for three minutes. Parker made the next field goal for SFA to break the deficit to five, 9-14. Both teams each added six points after Ross created a steal that sophomore Kennedy Harris finished with a layup at the 3:13 mark. The Ladyjacks mustered a 10-3 run to end the first quarter, 25-23.
New Orleans tied the game for the third time after they sunk a jumper on their first possession of the half. An acrobatically executed And-One from Ross capped off a 6-2 run that pushed SFA’s lead to 31-27 at the 7:05 mark. The Privateers battled back to cut it to a one point game on a put-back under the basket at the 2:24 mark. Sophomore Chanell Hayes hit a perfectly timed triple at the buzzer of the shot clock to spark a seven point run for SFA. New Orleans hit one more basket before the end of the first half to cut the gap to 42-36, keeping the Ladyjacks from taking the double-digit lead going into the locker room.
After the intermission, the Ladyjacks took their first double-digit lead, 46-36, of the game after back-to-back buckets from Ross. Parker led a 6-2 run to take the 52-39 lead, forcing UNO to call a time out at the 6:41 mark. The Privateers made SFA work for their next basket, which wouldn’t fall until Ross drove in for the basket at the 3:07 mark. A great look from freshman Alaysia Ready to freshman Riley Harvey under the basket for the easy two would end the third quarter with SFA up, 56-44.
The Privateers started the fourth quarter with an 8-2 surge that cut SFA’s lead to six at the 7:33 mark, forcing the Ladyjacks to call a timeout. The gap would get as small as two points before Harris hit a triple to stop the Privateers momentum. UNO mustered another 6-2 run to bring it to a one point game, 65-64, with 1:45 to go. The Ladyjacks then went 6-6 at the free-throw line to preserve the 71-67 win.
SFA will be continuing on the road this weekend to Conway, Arkansas. The Ladyjacks will have a rematch against the Central Arkansas Sugar Bears on Saturday as the last road game of the regular season. Tip-Off is set for 4:00 p.m., and the game will be live streamed on ESPN3 and the Watch ESPN app as a special Southland conference presentation.