Jan. 1, 2009
LUBBOCK, Texas -
Stephen F. Austin shot a season-low 26.4 percent from the field Thursday, leading to its second-worst defeat of the season, a 69-55 loss to Texas Tech at the United Spirit Arena. The defeat is SFA's second straight and follows a 16-point loss at Arkansas, marking the first time since the 2004-05 season for the Lumberjacks (7-4) to suffer consecutive losses by double-digit margins.
The Red Raiders (10-4) recovered from a slow start to shoot 40.3 percent from the field, while SFA never got going. With leading scorer Josh Alexander sidelined by an injury early in the game, the Lumberjacks couldn't find their touch and finished with just one player - sophomore Eddie Williams - in double digits scoring for the second time in as many games. Williams was 5-for-14 from the floor to tie for game-high honors with 12 points.
Texas Tech's Alan Voskuil scored 12 points - all in the second half - to tie Darko Cohadarevic for the team lead. D'walyn Roberts and John Roberson added 11 each.
SFA opened the game by hitting eight straight free throws but finished just 13-for-28 from the foul line, a .464 percentage that stands as the second worst of the season.
The Lumberjacks put two players in double digits on the boards for the first time of the year, as Benson Akpan came off the bench for a career-high 13, and Nick Shaw pulled down 12. SFA posted a season-high 54 rebounds and had a six-board edge, as well as a 6-4 advantage in turnovers forced but could not overcome the poor shooting.
The Lumberjacks grabbed a 9-7 lead with a pair of free throws by Alexander at the 12:23 mark in the first half. SFA held its advantage for the next 10 minutes, thanks mostly to furious effort on the glass and an 8-for-12 showing at the foul line that stands as the best first-half performance of the year against a Division I opponent.
SFA outrebounded the Red Raiders, 29-21, in the first period, setting a new season-high for first-half boards. In addition, the Lumberjacks pulled down nine offensive rebounds. Texas Tech didn't record an offensive board until the 3:48 mark when Darko Cohadarevic put back a missed 3-pointer to draw the Red Raiders to within a point at 18-17.
D'walyn Roberts hit a free throw to convert a 3-point play with 2:25 to play, tying the score at 20. The Red Raiders then went 3-for-3 from the floor down the stretch, including a long jumper by Cohadarevic with time winding down to set the seven-point halftime margin.
Meanwhile, the Lumberjacks were just 1-of-5 from the field in the same span and missed their last four free throws of the half after hitting eight in a row to begin the game.
SFA shot a season-worst 18.2 percent in the opening frame and went 2-for-13 from 3-point range, also a season-low. Tech outscored the Lumberjacks, 12-4, in the paint, mostly on the strength of Cohadareciv's eight points. He came off the bench to hit 3-of-4 from the floor and led all scorers at the break.
SFA's shooting woes continued after halftime, as the Lumberjacks went 1-for-8 over the first five minutes of the second period. Texas Tech took advantage and opened a 37-24 lead by the 15:48 mark.
SFA trimmed the lead to 10, 37-27, when Eddie Williams hit a running jumper with 14:02 left, but the `Jacks would get no closer. Texas Tech steadily warmed from its 32-percent first-half shooting effort and steadily pulled away down the stretch, leading by as many as 20 points in the second half. The Red Raiders shot 48 percent after halftime.
SFA finished with a season-low 17.4-percent effort from 3-point range and were outscored, 34-18, in the paint. Tech had seven offensive boards and a 10-0 edge in second-chance points by game's end.
Sophomore Eric Bell finished with nine points and three assists. Alexander and Shaw each posted five, and senior center Matt Kingsley joined juniors Girod Adams and Walt Harris with four points each.
The Lumberjacks will be back in action Saturday, when they host Jarvis Christian in a 6 p.m. game, their first home contest in nearly a month.
-- SFA --