SFA Holds Off Cardinals
Feb. 2, 2013
BEAUMONT, Texas - The Stpehen F. Austin Lumberjacks overcame a sluggish start and got 20 points from Taylor Smith in cruising to a 65-51 win over Lamar on Saturday at the Montagne Center.
SFA (18-2, 9-1 SLC) trailed by as much as nine points in the first half to the Cardinals (2-20, 0-10 SLC) before holding Lamar scoreless for more than 10 minutes of game time in building as large as a 19-point lead in the second half.
Smith hit 10 of his 13 shots from the field and had seven rebounds and four blocks, moving past Emmanuel Jackson to take sole possession of SFA's single-season blocks record, just days after becoming the career leader in SFA's win at McNeese State.
He got help in the scoring column as Hal Bateman put up a career high 18 points, 14 of which came in the second half. He added five assists in helping the `Jacks complete the first two-game season sweep of the Cardinals for SFA since the 2002-03 season.
SFA managed to pick up the win despite being outrebounded 33-31 by the Cardinals, marking just the third time all season the `Jacks have lost the battle on the glass.
Still, the `Jacks outscored the Cards 38-26 in the paint and scored 18 points off 13 Lamar turnovers.
Amos Wilson led Lamar with 13 points and Stan Brown finished with 10 rebounds, becoming just the fourth opponent for the `Jacks to pull down double figure boards.
The Cardinals came out with much more energy than the first time around in Nacogdoches, hitting five of their first seven shots and leading by as much as nine points in the opening period. But the `Jacks quickly put the clamps on the Lamar offense, holding LU without a field goal for the final 8:03 of the period before eventually taking a 27-24 lead into the break.
Smith scored 10 of SFA's first 13 points, but also made his presence known on the defensive side with three rejections in the first 20 minutes, moving him past Jackson for the single-season blocks record.
SFA trailed 24-20 with 8:03 to go in the half, but held the Cardinals without a point for the remainder of the half while scoring the final seven points. The `Jacks then opened the second half with consecutive buckets from Smith and Desmond Haymon to finish off an 11-0 run before a short jumper from Brown with 18 minutes to go ended the Cardinal drought.
But the `Jacks went right back to work, using an 18-6 run to balloon the lead to as much as 49-30 with 11:35 to play; however, the Cardinals were not done as they chipped away at the lead themselves and eventually drew to as close as eight points with five minutes to play after four straight points from Donley Minor.
Fortunately, that was as close as the Cardinals got as the `Jacks went right back to Smith for a layup and then got buckets from Haymon and Bateman to keep the lead at double figures with less than two minutes to go before hitting four foul shots in the final minute to close it out.
SFA now returns home on Thursday for a meeting with Central Arkansas before hosting Oral Roberts on Saturday at the William R. Johnson Coliseum.