Heartbreak at WRJ: SFA falls 96-93 to Louisiana Tech in OT

Career nights for Fitzgerald and Bogues

Heartbreak at WRJ: SFA falls 96-93 to Louisiana Tech in OT
(Source: KTRE Sports)

From SFA Athletics

Heartbreak at WRJ: SFA falls 96-93 to Louisiana Tech in OT

- Over the last six-plus seasons, William R. Johnson Coliseum has been a house of horrors for the vast majority of the SFA men’s basketball team’s opponents. Every once in a while through that span, however, one of the ‘Jacks’ foes has managed to get the upper hand.

Unfortunately, that's what happened Friday night.

Senior Shannon Bogues pumped in a game-high 33 points and graduate student Davonte Fitzgerald added a career-best 32 - including an overtime-forcing put-back score with 2.1 seconds left in regulation - but visiting Louisiana Tech shot 69.2-percent in the second half and held the 'Jacks scoreless through the final 2:02 of overtime to capture a 96-93 win.

Kevon Harris added nine of his 14 points in the second half but five Louisiana Tech players netted at least 15 points apiece to become only the fifth team since 2012-13 to defeat SFA inside William R. Johnson Coliseum.

FIRST HALF• One of the elements that returned with the 'Jacks following their international excursion last week was their defense and it showed through the entirety of the opening frame. • Through the first half, Louisiana Tech managed to muster 31 points on a 36.4-percent (12-of-33) shooting clip from the field. Thanks to the 'Jacks' scorching offense, however, the Bulldogs were forced to play catch-up from the get go.• Fitzgerald generated seven of his 16 first-half points during a 16-4 Lumberjack surge through the first 6:58 of the tilt. Bogues splashed the first of his three first-half three-pointers during that span, too.• Following a two-handed slam by Mitchell Seraille that put the hosts up 28-17 with 6:28 to go, Louisiana Tech went on a 5-0 run capped by a triple off the mitts of Jacolby Pemberton. • After that, Kevon Harris kick-started an 11-7 run by the hosts with a three-pointer - his only triple of the half. Fitzgerald finished the surge with a downtown hit that upped SFA's lead to 39-29. • Bogues and Fitzgerald were, to put it simply, the difference for the 'Jacks through the first 20 minutes of action. They combined to produce 29 of SFA's 40 first-half markers on the strength of a 9-of-15 combined effort from the field. • During the frame, the duo was scorching hot from three-point land and went a combined 6-of-9 from that distance to help the 'Jacks get the jump on the Bulldogs. • SFA's first-half shooting splits of .538/.583/.714 allowed them to get the jump on their Conference USA adversaries.

SECOND HALF• The adjustments Louisiana Tech made at the break paid dividends as the Bulldogs sprinted out of the gates scorching hot in the final 20 minutes of action. • Through the first 5:33 of the second half, the Bulldogs took off on an 18-7 run to grab their first lead of the game. Pemberton drilled another three - this one with 14:27 to go in the frame - to hand Louisiana Tech its first least inside William R. Johnson Coliseum since 1999.• At no point through the first 10:11 of the second half did Louisiana Tech cool off. In that span, the Bulldogs outscored the 'Jacks 36-14 to open up a 67-54 lead with 9:49 to go in regulation. • Louisiana Tech's lead remained double-digits when Anthony Duriji made matters 72-60 with 6:48 left following a layup. After that, however, Harris went to work for the 'Jacks. The junior netted eight of the next 10 points for the hosts, punctuating that run with a powerful two-handed slam that cut the Bulldogs' lead down to 74-71 with 4:05 left.• Unfortunately, following that slam, Harris was hit with a technical foul and was forced to exit the game. • Louisiana Tech's lead grew to 77-71 thanks to a fast break dunk by Derric Jean with 2:58 left but Bogues and Fitzgerald kept SFA right in the thick of things by netting 10 of the team's final 12 points of regulation. • Bogues' three-pointer with 21 ticket to go pulled SFA within one and after Jean split a pair at the free throw line with 10 seconds left Nathan Bain grabbed his own rebound off of a free throw miss with five seconds to go before Fitzgerald eventually got his mitts on the ball and sent things to overtime with hit put-back layup with 2.1 seconds left.

OVERTIMEMitchell Seraille gave SFA the upper hand once the extra frame started with a fast-break layup and Fitzgerald extended the home team's edge to 90-87 with 3:17 by scoring five in a row. • Unfortunately, Jean and Amorie Archibald answered Fitzgerald's 5-0 run by splashing back-to-back three-pointers that pushed the Bulldogs ahead 93-90 with 2:26 left in the extra session. • Though Bogues tied things up at 93 with his ninth three-pointer of the night with 2:02 left, SFA was held scoreless the rest of the way and Oliver Powell's free throw make with 25 seconds left put the Bulldogs ahead the rest of the way. • Both Bogues and Oddyst Walker misfired on three-pointers in the last 12 seconds for SFA.

KEY PERFORMERS/STATISTICS OF NOTE• Bogues and Fitzgerald became the first two players in SFA's NCAA Division I history to spring for 30 or more points in the same game. They combined to go 14-of-26 from three-point land with nine of those long balls coming from Bogues. • Bogues' nine three-pointers matched SFA's program record and made the Killeen, Texas, product the first Lumberjack since 2000 to sling in nine triples. • Free throws played a big part in the game, too, as the 'Jacks went 8-of-12 at the line compared to a 16-of-27 showing by the visitors. Bain, Fitzgerald, Harris and Jock Hughes each fouled out of the game for SFA who was missing the likes of Aaron Augustin, Samuli Nieminen and Jovan Grujic. • Louisiana Tech shot .692/.636/.563 in the second half and .500/.400/.600 in the overtime session to earn the victory. DaQuan Bracey led the way with a team-high 20 points while Archibald, Duruji, Jean and Pemberton finished with 18, 17, 16 and 15 respectively to help pace the Bulldogs.

COMING UP NEXT• In a little over a week, the 'Jacks will try to get back in the win column when they head to Monroe, La., for their second-straight showdown against a foe from the Pelican State. At 2:00 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, SFA takes on Sun Belt rival Louisiana-Monroe inside Fant-Ewing Coliseum.