SFA Ladyjacks head west to take on 4-1 Texas Tech

SFA Ladyjacks head west to take on 4-1 Texas Tech
(Source: SFA Athletics)

From SFA Athletics

SFA Ladyjacks head west to take on 4-1 Texas Tech

The Stephen F. Austin women’s basketball team hits the road for a midweek matchup that takes them across the state of Texas to face the Red Raiders of Texas Tech on Wednesday.

Both teams enter the foray at 4-1 on the season, with the Red Raiders having played all their contests home and the Ladyjacks coming in off a four-game undefeated homestand. Tip-off from United Supermarkets Arena is set for 7:00 p.m. CT. Wednesday’s tilt will be streamed by Texas Tech TV, a pay-per-view stream.

Fans can listen to the Ladyjacks on the airwaves at FM Q107.7 locally and nationwide via the TuneIn App. Live stats and game notes for the matchup can be found at the links above, and fans are encouraged to follow the Ladyjacks on Twitter (@SFA_WBB) for access to in-game content. For the third time in four seasons under head coach Mark Kellogg and fifth time in as many seasons, the Ladyjacks will face a BIG 12 opponent. The game comes on the heels of a four-game homestand for the Ladyjacks, who were selected as consolation round hosts in the Preseason WNIT and were able to play two more games at home as a result. The clash with the Red Raiders breaks up a stretch of seven home games played by SFA, with three more set to follow in the first half of December. SFA faces a tall test –literally—in the Red Raiders, who boast five players measured 6′3″ or taller, including 6′5″ forward Brittany Brewer, who ranks second in the BIG 12 in scoring and rebounding with 18.4 points and 12.4 boards per game, respectively. Running alongside Brewer is freshman guard Chrislyn Carr, who chips in 14.8 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.

The Red Raiders are in their first season under Marlene Stollings, who is halfway to beating last season’s wins mark of seven just five games into her premier season in charge. Stollings' previous stops include head coaching stints at Winthrop, VCU and most recently Minnesota, where she crafted the nation’s third-highest scoring offense (84.9) during the 2017-18 season. Riding a four-game winning streak and sitting at 4-1 on the campaign, the Ladyjacks were dominant in a 76-34 rout of Tulsa on Saturday at home, surrendering the fewest points by SFA to a Division I opponent since the 2000-01 season. The win also produced a season-high margin of victory (42) and marked an impressively stout defensive performance by the 'Jacks. SFA has averaged 11 steals per game this season, a figure that ranks in NCAA Division I, and is allowing just 58.2 points per game to opponents. On the other end of the court, the Ladyjacks have done several things consistently well through their first five games. For one, the team is scoring at a 73 point-per-game clipped with a slash line of .425/.377/.713 (FG/3PT/FT). Their mark of 9.8 three pointers made per game ranks 15th in Division I women’s basketball, while a collective 18.4 assist per game is good for 22nd in the nation. While senior Chanell Hayes is the team’s leader in both categories this season, the marks have been a team effort through and through. In no stat is this more evident than a 75% assist rate on SFA’s 122 made field goals thus far, as 9 of SFA’s 11 players average at least an assist per game. Eight different players are shooting 43 percent or better from the field, with five of those athletes knocking down 40 percent of their three-pointers as well.

TIP-OFF TIDBITS• For SFA head coach Mark Kellogg, Wednesday’s game represents a return to familiar territory, as Lubbock is 1 ½ hours away from West Texas A&M, where Kellogg coached before joining the Ladyjacks.• With Saturday’s victory over Tulsa, Kellogg moved into sixth place on SFA’s all-time wins for a head coach, passing Mary Ann Otwell (1980-84) with his 72nd win at SFA. Kellogg can move into the top five with 24 more victories, passing Brandon Schneider (95 wins).

Chanell Hayes’ torrid shooting from beyond the arc has the senior from Texarkana leading the Southland Conference and ranking fifth in the nation in 3-point percentage (60.7), 24th in three-point makes per game (3.4) and 47th in three-pointers made (17). She is on pace to sink 99 three-pointers this season, which would easily surpass the current SFA single-season record of 90 makes.

• SFA is the third Southland Conference program to face the red Raiders in as many games, Following Texas A&M Corpus Christi and Houston Baptist into Lubbock. Abilene Christian rounds out the group of four Southland schools that will play Texas Tech later on during the regular season.

• SFA and Texas Tech have faced each other 11 times prior to Wednesday’s matchup, with the Red Raiders owning a 7-4 edge and a seven-game winning streak in the series. The two teams have not faced each other since the 2001-02 season, however.