`Jacks Hold Off Southeastern
Feb. 21, 2009
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Matt Kingsley scored 21 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to lead Stephen F. Austin to a 45-38 win over Southeastern Louisiana Saturday in the William R. Johnson Coliseum. The double-double is the 11th of Kingsley's career and stood out in a contest that saw the two teams combine to shoot 33 percent from the field.
The 83 combined points in Saturday's game set a new record for the lowest score in an SFA contest in nine seasons under head coach Danny Kaspar. The previous mark was the 84-point total recorded in the Lumberjacks' 43-41 win over McNeese State five games ago.
Southeastern Louisiana shot just 29 percent in a 38-point effort that ties for the second-fewest points allowed to an SFA opponent in Kaspar's tenure. The Lions fall to 9-16 on the season and 3-9 in Southland Conference play.
SFA connected on 38 percent from the field - just the third time this season the `Jacks have shot worse than 40 percent in a winning effort - while moving to 17-7 on the year and 9-3 in league games. Saturday's win, combined with Nicholls State's 71-66 overtime loss at Texas State, put SFA back into sole possession of the SLC East Division lead with four games to play.
The Lions held their only lead of the game in the early minutes of the first period. A Chris Cyprian jumper with 16:03 left gave Southeastern a 7-4 advantage, but Southeastern went without a point for the next 6:26, and SFA used a 9-0 run to move out to a 13-7 lead with 10:40 to play.
Southeastern would endure another first-half drought of nearly five minutes, then opened the second period by going nine minutes, 54 seconds without a field goal. Meanwhile, Kingsley scored the first 10 points of the half to stake SFA to a 15-point lead (31-16) with 17:36 to play.
After a Brandon Fortenberry 3-pointer at the 11:06 mark broke the Lions' dry spell, Southeastern hit five of its next six shots to bring what had been a 19-point SFA lead back to 10, at 40-30, with 7:59 to play.
But Kingsley pushed the margin back to 12 with a layup at the 5:31 mark, and the Lumberjacks weathered a five-minute field goal drought of their own to hold on for the win.
Over the last six games, Kingsley is averaging 18.6 points and 9.6 rebounds with three double-doubles and four 20-point performances to his credit.
No other Lumberjack reached double figures in scoring Saturday. Junior Girod Adams - who made his first start in 12 games - scored seven points, while classmate Eric Bell added six on a 2-for-3 effort from 3-point range. Bell's pair of 3-pointers were the only ones SFA connected on in 12 attempts.
Senior center Benson Akpan scored four points, and Eddie Williams, Walt Harris and Zach Williams each added two. Senior forward Josh Alexander finished with one free throw, marking just the third time in his four-year career for him to go without a field goal.
Warrell Span and Fortenberry scored 11 points apiece to lead Southeastern.
Senior Nick Shaw set a new career-high with 19 rebounds, as the Lumberjacks beat Southeastern, 39-32, on the boards. Shaw's 19 rebounds are the highest single-game total in the Southland Conference this season.
The Lumberjacks coughed up 18 turnovers - one off a tie for the season high - and Southeastern finished with 16 steals, the most recorded by any team in an SFA game this season.
The 16 points the Lions put up in the first period mark the eighth time this season - and the 35th time in Kaspar's tenure - for SFA to hold an opponent to fewer than 20 points in a half.
The Lumberjacks will return to action Wednesday, when they host Texas State in a 7 p.m. game.
-- SFA --