`Jacks Shut Down Southeastern
Jan. 24, 2009
HAMMOND, La. - Nick Shaw scored 13 points and pulled down nine rebounds Saturday as Stephen F. Austin knocked off Southeastern Louisiana, 60-49, in the University Center. With the win, SFA bounces back from its first Southland Conference defeat of the season and improves to 12-5 overall with a 4-1 mark in league play.
The Lions (8-10, 2-3), suffered their first home loss of the season and their first since a Feb. 16 defeat in the 2007-08 campaign. The 49 points are a season-low for Southeastern and mark the sixth time this season for the Lumberjacks to hold an opponent to fewer than 50 points.
Shaw's 13 points left him one shy of tying his season-high, and he just missed a double-double, as he fouled out with two minutes to play. The senior forward scored nine of his 13 in the first half, helping SFA build a 14-point lead late in the first period.
Led by Shaw's nine boards, the Lumberjacks enjoyed a 35-29 edge in rebounding. SFA also pulled down 13 offensive boards, including three each from Shaw, Josh Alexander and Benson Akpan, and outscored the Lions, 15-9, in second-chance points.
Alexander and sophomore guard Eddie Williams joined Shaw in double digits with 15 and 10 points, respectively, Alexander's 15 leading all scorers. All 10 of Williams' points came in the second half, when he was 4-for-6 from the floor.
The Lions got out to a four-point margin early, but SFA took a 10-9 lead with 12:13 left on a layup by Benson Akpan. The `Jacks then tightened down on defense.
The Lumberjacks held Southeastern to just two field goals over the final 8:54 of the first half. SFA took what was a 13-13 game at that point and turned it into a 29-18 halftime advantage with a 16-5 run. The Lion drought included a 1-for-6 effort from the field and four turnovers before Patrick Sullivan sank a jumper with 26 seconds left to set the halftime score.
Southeastern's 18 first-half points marked the fifth time this season the Lumberjacks have held a foe to fewer than 20 points in a half and the second time in three games for SFA to hit that mark.
Shaw enjoyed his best first half of the season, going 4-of-7 with a 3-pointer for nine points and six rebounds. SFA shot 40 percent from the field in the opening period and held Southeastern to 32 percent, including a 1-for-9 effort from 3-point range.
SFA pulled down six offensive rebounds in the first half, led by three from Akpan, and outscored the Lions, 9-4, in second-chance points. The `Jacks held a 14-10 edge in the paint at halftime.
SFA opened the second period the same way it closed the first, forcing turnovers on each of the Lions' first two possessions and holding Southeastern without a field goal over the first two-and-a-half minutes. The Lumberjacks built their advantage to 35-19 - the biggest of the game at that point - helping them weather a brief run by the Lions.
Southeastern cut the lead to eight at 40-32 with 12:09 to play, but Eddie Williams answered with two straight buckets, and Akpan drained a long jumper to push the edge back out to 46-32 with 9:48 to play.
Though SFA would lead by as many as 16 in the second half, the Lions again trimmed the advantage to single digits, cutting it to 57-49 with 1:02 left on a jumper by Warrell Span. But Southeastern's 47-percent shooting effort in the second period came too late, and junior point guard Girod Adams knocked down 3-of-4 free throws over the final 45 seconds to set the final margin.
For the game, SFA shot 40.7 percent, while the Lions finished at 38.1. The Lumberjacks forced 13 turnovers and finished with a 12-8 margin in points off turnovers.
The Lumberjacks will be back in action Wednesday, when they host Northwestern State. The game against the Demons is set to tip at 7 p.m. from William R. Johnson Coliseum.
-- SFA --