'Jacks go North for Wednesday night clash with Central Arkansas

'Jacks go North for Wednesday night clash with Central Arkansas

From SFA Athletics

OPENING TIPS
• For their final road trip to the month of January, the Stephen F. Austin men's basketball team heads to Conway, Ark., for a Wednesday night matchup against Central Arkansas at 7:00 p.m. inside the Farris Center. Rob Meyers will describe the action on Q107.7 FM in Nacogdoches and nationwide via the TuneIn app. 
• Since the calendar turned to 2018, the 'Jacks have not suffered a loss. SFA is in the midst of a five-game winning streak - the longest in head coach Kyle Keller's tenure - and sits a half-game back of both Nicholls and Southeastern Louisiana for the top spot in the Southland Conference standings.
• Following the events of last week, SFA is the sole owner of the best in-conference record in NCAA Division I men's basketball since the start of the 2012-13 season. The 'Jacks have gone 86-10 (.896) in Southland Conference play since the start of the 2012-13 campaign, pushing them past Wichita State for the highest number of in-conference wins and the best in-conference winning percentage in that span. Headed into last week, the Shockers and 'Jacks were tied but WSU dropped back-to-back games in AAC play to give SFA the edge. 
• The last two road games the 'Jacks have played have resulted in wins. SFA will shoot for the first three-game road winning streak in head coach Kyle Keller's tenure once they tip off against the Bears in Conway, Ark., Wednesday night. Since 2011-12, the 'Jacks' 60 true road wins are the second-most in the nation (Wichita State has 62). 
• Both Ty Charles and TJ Holyfield have a great chance to join SFA's 500 rebound club Wednesday night. Holyfield is sitting at 499 career rebounds and needs just one more to get 500 while Charles has 494, requiring him to grab six to reach that milestone. Only eight players in SFA's NCAA Division I history have collected 500 or more rebounds.
• Through six Southland Conference games, the 'Jacks own the best scoring defense in league-only games. SFA is allowing just 65 points per game to Southland foes this season and also owns the best turnover margin (+4.33) in conference-only games in the 13-team league. 
• Sophomore Kevon Harris continues to impress as he ranks third in the Southland Conference in scoring at a team-leading average of 17.1 points per game. The Ellenwood, Ga., product is one of just two underclassmen in the top ten and the only one among the league's top five point producers. 
• Instead of donning the usual dress shoes with their suits, SFA head coach Kyle Keller and his staff will be slipping into all-gray Under Armour sneakers as part of the NABC's Coaches vs. Canter Suits and Sneakers week which runs from Jan. 22-28. 

SCOUTING CENTRAL ARKANSAS | ROSTER | SCHEDULE | STATISTICS
• Coaches, players and fans from around the Southland Conference - and the nation - are already well acquainted with UCA senior Jordan Howard and his prolific scoring ways. The Chandler, Ariz., product leads the Southland and ranks fourth nationally with a scoring average of 24.5 points per game. Last week, he took over as UCA's all-time leading scorer and currently leads the league in 11 statistical categories including three-pointers per game (3.29) and free throw percentage (87.9).
• Wednesday night, Central Arkansas will go gunning for its first win over SFA in the history of the program. SFA has gone 16-0 all-time against the Bears with eight of those wins coming on the floor of the Farris Center but the previous two meetings have been the closest in the all-time series. The 'Jacks prevailed 78-76 in Nacogdoches on Jan. 25, 2017, before storming back from a 13-point second half deficit to collect a 90-85 OT win in Conway on Feb. 25, 2017.
• Almost a third of UCA's points - 30.9-percent to be precise - come off of three-pointers. The Bears have splashed a league-leading 177 triples and true freshman guard DeAndre Jones ranks third in the Southland with a long-range shooting percentage of 43.3-percent (26-of-60). In all, however, it's Howard who takes most of the long range shots as he has made 69 of UCA's 177 three-pointers. 
• One of the leading candidates for Southland Conference Freshman of the Year, Hayden Koval has distinguished himself as a polished offensive performer as well as a legitimate defensive threat during his first season in Conway. Koval leads the Southland with 2.9 blocked shots per game and also averages 9.5 points and 5.2 rebounds. 
• The best assist-to-turnover ratio in the Southland Conference belongs to Central Arkansas, too. The Bears' figure of 1.27 ranks 60th nationally and as a team the Bears lead the league in terms of assists per game (16.8) thanks to the play of DeAndre Jones who dishes out 4.2 helpers per night. 
• Another area where the Bears excel is at the free throw line. Central Arkansas leads the league and ranks 24th nationally with 347 free throws made this season. As a team, the Bears shoot at a clip of 72.4-percent from the foul line which is the second-highest in the Southland Conference.

LAST TIME OUT 
• Trailing by 10 points at the half, SFA rode the offensive play of sophomore Kevon Harris and held Abilene Christian to only six second-half field goals to claim a 76-66 comeback victory over the Wildcats last Wednesday night in Abilene. 
• Harris finished with a game-high 23 points on 7-of-11 shooting and added a game-best seven rebounds in the victory. Each of SFA's four three-point field goal makes came courtesy of Harris, too, who raised his downtown shooting percentage to .457 in 2017-18. That's the second-best three-point field goal percentage in the Southland Conference. 
• The 23 points put in by Harris represented the sophomore's seventh effort of 20 or more points this season which is the highest number of 20-point games by an SFA player since Thomas Walkup had 11 of them during the 2015-16 campaign. In 2016-17, SFA finished the season with a total of seven 20+ point efforts - the same number Harris has by himself in 2017-18. 
• For the second-straight game, senior Leon Gilmore III turned in a fine outing on the offensive end of the floor by finishing with a season-best 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting. His 10 free throw attempts were a game-high and through the last three games Gilmore III is averaging 12.7 points while shooting 60-percent (15-of-25) from the field. 
• Much of the 'Jacks' second-half damage came at the foul line where the team went 20-of-25 through the last 20 minutes. In all, 46.5-percent of SFA's 43 second-half points came at the free throw stripe and the 'Jacks also set season bests in both free throws made (26) and free throw attempts (36) in the victory. 
• Head coach Kyle Keller picked up his first win over Abilene Christian inside Moody Coliseum by drawing up a defensive game plan that limited the Wildcats to just 23 points in the second half. Those 23 points were the fewest SFA has given up in the second half - and in either half - this season.
• Abilene Christian scored 28 of its points as part of a 28-6 run through the last 10:32 of the opening half. That sizable scoring surge allowed the Wildcats to head into their locker room with a double-digit lead before the 'Jacks stormed back in the final 20 minutes of play. 
• TJ Holyfield finished with just nine points on 2-of-10 shooting from the field but it was his pair of free throw makes with 10:28 remaining in the game which put the 'Jacks on top for good. It marked Holyfield's fourth game in 2017-18 in which he was held to under 10 points. 
• Normally a large part of the team's offensive attack plan, the 'Jacks' bench chipped in just 13 points, leaving the starting five to account for the other 63 (or 82.9-percent) of the total scoring load. Those 13 points were the second-fewest racked up by SFA's bench in 2017-18 and finished with only four points on 2-of-10 shooting. Headed into the game, Bogues had netted at least 10 points in 14 of SFA's 18 games.
• Ivan Canete continued his accurate aim at the foul line, too, by drilling all five of his tries from that distance. Through his last five games, Canete has drilled 20 of his 22 free throw attempts - an accuracy rate of 90.9-percent. 
• On the glass, SFA finished with a +11 edge, out-rebounding the Wildcats by a 40-29 margin. It marked the 'Jacks' second double-digit rebounding advantage over a Southland Conference opponent this season. 
• The win also helped the 'Jacks' continue the program's second-best start in their NCAA Division I history. Both the 2012-13 and 2013-14 SFA teams started the season 17-2 through their first 19 games while this year's edition is tied with the 2007-08 club for the second-best start at 16-3. 
• Below is a full breakdown of where Stephen F. Austin's points came from in its home victory over Incarnate Word:
Two-pointers | 50.0% (38-76)
Three-pointers | 15.8% (12-76)
Free throws | 34.2% (26-76)
Points in the paint | 44.7% (34-76)
Points off turnovers | 25.0% (19-76)
Second chance points | 23.7% (18-76)
Fast break points | 13.2% (10-76)
Starters points | 82.9% (63-76)
Bench Points | 17.1% (13-76)

COMING UP NEXT
Meeting number 200 between SFA and their age-old Piney Woods rivals Sam Houston State will take place inside William R. Johnson Coliseum Saturday evening at 6:00 p.m. The 'Jacks hold a 108-91 all-time edge in their series with the Bearkats and have gone 14-1 against their foes from Huntsville, Texas, since the year 2012.