NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Last year's loss to Northwestern State at the coliseum still haunts Head Coach Kyle Keller.
"I will never forget that night as long as I coach," Keller said. "I feel like I let everyone of our fans and our alumni down here. I've had many sleepless nights because of that night here. I can replay every possession of the last four minutes of the game."
The Lumberjacks would lose momentum in that game and end up falling 72-67. The loss also snapped a 52 game home winning streak. The Jacks do have a bit of luck when they travel to the Demons home court. The Lumberjacks have won five straight in Natchitoches. The team hopes to continue that streak on Saturday.
"This game means a lot to a lot of people," Keller said. "You can throw out the records. We always know that we are going to get everybody's best game."
The Jacks are heading into the game with momentum. On Wednesday, they easily beat Nicholls State, who boasted the tenth best offense in the country. SFA was able to force 22 turnovers and held Nicholls' three point shooters in check.
"We were not going to let them score on us," Keller said. "We limited them to really one player. Nobody is going to beat us with one player."
Keller knew the game against Nicholls was important as the team was coming off of a road loss to Southeastern Louisiana. Keller had preached the importance to playing angry coming off of the loss.
"I hoped we learned something from that loss," Keller said. "I hope we don't play like that again.
"We are like the sky is falling around here because we lost to Southeastern," Keller said. "I am trying to take the pressure off of our players but they feel it. They know what is going on around here."
Seven Lumberjacks are left from the team that suffered the loss and they are ready for revenge. They also know they have to play smart.
"It is a new team and a new year," forward TJ Holyfield said. "I fell like we have a game plan and we will be ready."
For new players, the game is just another way to defend Lumberjack pride.
"For now on we have to make the first punch and get them off of their game and get in their head and play angry," guard John Comeaux said.
Tip off for the game is 3:30 pm. The game is preceded by the Ladyjacks taking on Northwest State's women at 12:30.