NACOGDOCHES, Texas -Jereal Scott pumped in 27 points and pulled down a season-high 11 rebounds and the Lumberjacks never trailed, rolling past Texas State 71-63 on Wednesday at William R. Johnson Coliseum.
Scott, who was coming off a one of his worst performances of the season from the field in Saturday's win at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, was nearly perfect from the field on Wednesday, hitting 11-of-12 from the floor and 5-for-8 from the foul line to notch his second double-double of the year and seventh of his career.
His work down low, coupled with a dominating performance on the glass that saw SFA (12-9, 6-2 SLC) rip down 39 boards to just 18 for the `Cats (8-13, 1-7 SLC) helped SFA cruise to their 18th win in its last 21 meetings versus Texas State and sweep the season series.
In the team's last meeting SFA needed buzzer-beating heroics from Hal Bateman to notch a league-opening win one month ago in San Marcos; however, tonight the `Jacks jumped out to an 11-3 lead to open the game and led by as much as 21 points in the second half while never trailing in the contest.
Still, SFA had to overcome 23 turnovers which resulted in 27 Bobcat points, but was able to do so by shooting a season-best 60.5 percent from the floor, including 63.6 percent in the first half alone.
Jonathan King added 15 points and four rebounds, while Taylor Smith had eight points and six rebounds off the bench. Desmond Haymon finished with seven points and seven rebounds, and Bateman didn't find his way into the scoring column but did dish out a game-high six of SFA's 21 assists on the night.
Texas State came into the night as the top scoring team in the Southland Conference, averaging nearly 80 points per game; however, they hit just 8-of-27 from behind the arc and scored just 22 points in the opening period - its second-lowest scoring output in a half this season.
Scott had 15 of his points in the opening half as SFA outrebounded Texas State 17-6 to open up a 36-22 halftime lead with half of the Bobcats' points coming from senior big man Matt Staff who led Texas State with 20 points on the night.
The `Jacks traded buckets with the `Cats for the first eight minutes of the second half before going on a quick 7-2 spurt that included five points from Smith in pushing the Lumberjack lead to its peak at 56-35 with 10:08 to play.
From there the `Jacks continued to manage quality shots against Texas State's pressure defense, and still led by as much as 17 points with under five minutes to play.
Texas State did manage to close the game on an 8-2 run that included a halfcourt three-pointer from Eddie Rios at the buzzer, but it was far too little too late for the `Cats.
The `Jacks have now won three games in a row and will have a chance to win their fourth straight game on Sunday when they travel to Lake Charles, La., to take on McNeese State. That game is scheduled for a 2:00 p.m. tipoff from the Lake Charles Convention Center.