Smith's Big Night Carries SFA To 59-39 Win
Jan. 30, 2013
LAKE CHARLES, La. - Taylor Smith became the all-time leading shot blocker at SFA and picked up his league-leading seventh double-double of the year with 21 points and 18 rebounds and the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks rebounded from its first loss of the season to pick up a59-39 win over McNeese State on Wednesday at the Lake Charles Civic Center.
Smith, who had six blocks and hit 11 of 15 foul shots on the night, just missed becoming the first Lumberjack since 1994 to register 20 points and 20 rebounds in a game. Instead, his 18 boards and 11 made foul shots were both career highs, and his six rejections gave him 102 for his career, moving him past Matt Kingsley for first in career blocked shots.
"I really wasn't aware of the record until tonight," Smith said after the game. "To be here just two years and pick up a record like that is very special, but I'm most happy that I was able to do it and help us win."
The win was an impressive one for the `Jacks (17-2, 8-1 SLC), who held the Cowboys (8-11, 2-7 SLC) to its lowest point total in the shot-clock era. McNeese State hit just 24.5 percent from the floor, including just 15.4 percent in a nine-point first half.
Smith was one of two `Jacks to reach double figures, joined by Jacob Parker who had 12 points and five boards and hit the only two SFA triples of the night. Hal Bateman had just two points, but dished out six assists. Desmond Haymon added seven rebounds and six points.
The Cowboys hit just three of 17 shots from beyond the arc and was led by Desharick Guidry with nine points and three rebounds.
The `Jacks held the Cowboys to just 4-for-26 shooting in the opening half in holding McNeese State to just nine points in the opening 20 minutes, the lowest scoring output for an SFA opponent since 2009 when the `Jacks held Central Arkansas to just seven points in the first half.
Neither team scored for the first 3:46 of the opening period before SFA opened up a 7-2 lead. The advantage quickly grew, behind 10-for-14 foul shooting for the `Jacks, and seven points and 11 rebounds from Smith. The `Jacks held the Cowboys without a field goal for the final 4:45 of the half to go into the locker room with a 26-9 advantage.
"Our defense was about as good as I've ever seen it in the first half," Kaspar said after the game. "We forced tough shots and Taylor was doing a great job of altering shots in the lane."
SFA opened up the second half with six straight points, three apiece from Smith and Parker to open up a 32-9 lead before the Cowboys began to finally turn up the intensity. Foul shots and five quick points from Keilan Garrett sparked a 14-3 Cowboy run that cut the lead to just 11 points at 34-23 with 10:56 to play in the game.
The `Jacks then got a layup from Walkup before Adrian Fields knocked down four straight foul shots on two consecutive possessions to cut the lead to its lowest of the second half, 36-27 with just 9:41 to go. But again SFA had an answer with two freebies from Smith and a triple from Parker to quickly boost the lead back to double figures.
From there the `Jacks continued to be patient offensively and made foul shots in the final five minutes, pushing the lead to as much as 20 on the final two free throws of the night from Smith, who entered the night as just a 40-percent foul shooter.
The win maintains SFA's hold on first place which it shares with Oral Roberts. The `Jacks will next travel to Lamar on Saturday for a 6:00 p.m. tip with the Cardinals. SFA defeated Lamar 79-43 in Nacogdoches on January 3.