Ladyjacks fall in SLC championship

The SFA Ladyjacks quest for an NCAA championship bid came to an end following a 69-65 loss to Nicholls in the SLC finale Sunday afternoon.

If the Ladyjacks had won, it would have been the first time in history that the men's and women's teams won the tournament championships.

The game should be considered a big upset, as SFA had won the previous meeting between the two in a road game and SFA came into the game as the two seed and had played one less game in the tournament than Nicholls.

SFA went into the half with a 40-28 lead.

The ladies started the game on a 16-2 tear and finished the first quarter with a 23-11 lead.

Nicholls played even with SFA in the second quarter with both teams scoring 17 points.

SFA Head Coach Mark Kellogg after Saturday's win he would be using the bench more Sunday and that proved to be true as bench players have logged 29 total minutes in the first half. SFA bench players have outscored Nicholls 12-2 in the first half.

At the half, Ladyjack Chanell Hayes leads all scorers with 13 points.

Nicholls outscored SFA 26-15 in the third quarter and 15-10 in the fourth.

"The third quarter was the difference," Kellogg said. "They went 6-of-7 from the three-point line. We tried different defenses, man, zone and threw everything at them. I feel like we lost our identity defensively in the second half."

With Nicholls up 68-65 in the closing seconds, SFA missed two three-pointers to tie the game but rebounded the ball with four seconds left and was fouled. Kellogg called a timeout but SFA lost the ball on a five-second violation.

It was the fourth time in the game in which SFA failed to execute on offense coming out of a timeout.

"We just didn't execute it," Kellogg said. "On that five-second play, we didn't execute it right. We prepared all season for that moment and just didn't execute. That's something we take pride in, ATOs, after timeouts and we just didn't get it done."

Going into the fourth quarter, SFA held a 55-54 lead. Nicholls took a 57-56 lead following a pair of made free throws from Marina Lilly but SFA regained the lead with a three-pointer from Taylor Jackson.