NACOGDOCHES, TX (News Release) - The Stephen F. Austin women's basketball team had little trouble dispatching NAIA foe Central Christian College at William R. Johnson Coliseum on Tuesday afternoon, 105-32. Six players finished in double figures for SFA, which improved to 6-0 at home and 8-3 overall while tying a season-high in points scored and reaching a new high in margin of victory on the season.
Taylor Jackson led all scorers with 15 points in the contest, but was joined by teammates Alyssa Mayfield, Kennedy Harris, Chanell Hayes, Marissa Banfield and Stevi Parker in double figures. Parker and Mayfield also notched double-doubles, with Mayfield narrowly missing out on a triple-double by adding eight assists. SFA scored nearly half its points in the paint (52), and held a dominant edge in the rebounding battle, with 63 total boards (26 offensive).
With an 1-11 record coming into the contest, Central Christian College was outmatched from the onset, and the 'Jacks took full advantage of their foe by forcing 12 first-quarter turnovers. Those 12 turnovers yielded 17 points for the home squad, who scored the opening basket of the game and never let up, leading wire-to-wire in the contest. Forward Riley Harvey's first basket of the contest pushed SFA out to an early 9-2 lead with six minutes left to play in the first, and after a Tigers basket cut the lead to five, SFA would clamp down on defense and go on a 13-1 run over the final five minutes of play in the quarter. That gave SFA a 22-5 lead after the first quarter, but as it turned out the Ladyjacks were only getting started on the day.
In the second quarter, the Ladyjacks continued to pound the offensive glass, grabbing 10 offensive boards in the stanza to further increase the lead. Five points apiece from Mayfield, Banfield and Parker in the quarter helped fuel the push, while Mayfield also grabbed five of her 11 rebounds on the day in the second quarter as well. After a layup by the Tigers with 5:22 remaining in the quarter moved the score to 35-9, SFA went on a 14-2 run to end the quarter and take a sizeable 49-11 lead into the halftime break.
At the halftime break, SFA had already built up impressive advantages in points in the paint (24-4), points off turnovers (25-0) and second-chance points (20-2), helping to make up for not shooting particularly well in the half (16-42, 38.1 percent). Coming out of the break, the 'Jacks would shoot substantially better in each of the final quarters, beginning with a 9-16 (56.3 percent) clip in the third quarter. The Ladyjacks got a big boost from the guard tandem of Harris and Jackson in the third, as the due combined for 14 of SFA's 28 points in the quarter. SFA continued to expand the lead during the third despite allowing the Tigers to score 14 points in the quarter of their own. A pair of free throws by Imani Johnson with 3:38 remaining pushed the lead to a then –game-high 52 points at 69-27, which Banfield would match with a driving layup at the buzzer after the Tigers trimmed the lead in the final minutes.
In the fourth quarter and with the score well in hand, SFA turned to the bench to close out the contest, and the SFA reserves outperformed the Tiger starters in splendid fashion, converting on 58.8 percent of field goals. Banfield and freshman center Aaliyah Johnson each tallied seven points apiece in the final frame, while Mayfield and Aaliyah Johnson eviscerated the Tigers defense with four assists apiece in the stanza. Six Central Christian turnovers in the frame equated to 12 points for SFA, and by the time the final horn sounded, SFA had scored a total of 40 points off 27 Tiger turnovers.
Every Ladyjacks player saw action and scored in the contest, with several players tying or setting statistical season-highs. As a whole, SFA shot 35-75 (46.7 percent) from the field and 9-28 (32.1 percent) from beyond the arc. Despite earning 39 foul shots on the afternoon, the Ladyjacks left some points on the floor by converting just 26 of the free throws for a mark of 66.7 percent. The 63 rebounds marked a season-high for SFA, and the 25 assists dished out also tied a mark set in wins over Howard Payne and Central Baptist. The 100-point effort was the second such performance from SFA this season, and the 73-point margin of victory was the largest for SFA since a 117-31 victory over Nicholls State during the 1995-96 season.
The Ladyjacks will take some time off for the holiday season before returning to the friendly confines of William R. Johnson Coliseum for the Southland Conference opener with Southeastern Louisiana on December 28th.