Feb. 14, 2009
LAKE CHARLES, La. -
McNeese State used a 7-0 run to erase a late six-point Lumberjack lead then held on for a 59-56 win over Stephen F. Austin Saturday at Burton Coliseum. The loss, which featured eight lead changes and 10 tied scores, is SFA's second in three road games.
With the defeat, the Lumberjacks fall to 16-7 on the season and 8-3 in Southland Conference play. SFA moves into a tie for the SLC East Division lead with Nicholls State, a 52-50 winner over Southeastern Louisiana Saturday.
SFA held a 56-50 lead after a pair of Eric Bell free throws at the 3:35 mark, but the Lumberjacks didn't score another point and were held without a field goal over the game's final four minutes, when they committed two of their eight turnovers
Senior center Matt Kingsley scored 22 points on 10-of-17 shooting and pulled down nine rebounds. He led three Lumberjacks in double figures scoring. Classmate Josh Alexander scored 15 points, and junior Girod Adams added 10 points. The rest of the team combined for nine points with five coming from senior Nick Shaw.
John Pichon scored 14 of his team-leading 16 points in the second period and finished with 10 rebounds for McNeese. Diego Kapelan added 13, and Kleon Penn finished with 11.
In the initial meeting with McNeese this season, SFA took a one-point lead to halftime and came away with a 43-41 win. Saturday, the Lumberjacks found themselves in a 25-25 tie at the break.
The `Jacks shot just 36.7 percent in the first half, when they trailed by as many as nine points. Kingsley's 11 first-half points and a 13-2 advantage in scoring off turnovers helped SFA take a tie to the locker room.
The Cowboys owned a 19-11 advantage on the boards in the opening frame, but SFA ripped off eight steals in the first half and forced 11 turnovers in all. Alexander recorded three first-period steals, two of which ended in fast-break layups at the other end.
Kingsley was 5-for-8 from the field in the first half, leading SFA to a 12-10 advantage in the paint.
For the game, McNeese outscored the Lumberjacks, 26-20, in the paint and held a 33-20 edge in rebounding, finishing just two shy of the season-high for rebounding margin by an SFA opponent.
SFA shot 38.2 percent from the field, the fourth time in five games the `Jacks have shot worse than 40 percent. SFA was just 4-of-20 from 3-point range, including a 1-for-11 effort in the first period.
SFA will be back in action on Saturday, Feb. 21, when the Lumberjacks host Southeastern Louisiana in a 6 p.m. game.
- SFA -