March 5, 2011
NATCHITOCHES, La. -
Stephen F. Austin erased a 13-point first-half deficit and led by as many as five after halftime, but Northwestern State held on for a 70-65 win Saturday in the regular-season finale at Prather Coliseum.
The loss, combined with Southeastern Louisiana's win over Nicholls, puts SFA in the No. 5 spot for next week's State Farm Southland Conference Basketball Tournament. Schedule and opponent will be announced later Saturday night.
The Lumberjacks finish the regular season with an 18-10 record and a 9-7 mark in Southland Conference play. The Demons improve to 18-13 on the year and 10-6 in league action with their first win over SFA in five tries.
Junior center Jereal Scott scored all 17 of his points in the second half to tie sophomore guard Antonio Bostic for the team lead. All but two of Bostic's points came in the first half, when he went 6-for-11 from the field and 3-of-4 from 3-point range.
Senior Jordan Glynn scored 13 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, and Darius Gardner added 10 points to give the Lumberjacks four players in double digits. Eddie Williams chipped in with five points and a game-high 11 boards.
Devon Baker scored 20 points to lead the Demons, and Will Pratt added 11.
SFA trailed, 26-13, with 10:49 to play after Northwestern opened the game by hitting six of its first eight 3-point attempts. But the Demons hit a cold spell that coincided with a red-hot streak by Bostic. The sophomore hit 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions, then knocked down a pull-up jumper with 5:57 to play to draw SFA to within five points, 26-21.
Glynn then connected on a layup to finish a 12-0 run and make it a one-point game with 5:21 to play. Northwestern went 6:34 between buckets before finally getting back on the scoreboard with 4:15 left in the half.
The lead was one with two minutes to play when Baker was fouled on a 3-point try and connected on all three attempts. The Demons went ahead by six on the next possession with a jumper by Gary Stewart, but Darius Gardner hit a jumper at the buzzer from just inside the arc to send SFA to the locker room down, 35-31.
After going scoreless in the first half, Scott scored SFA's first six points of the second period and got a layup to tie the game at 44 with 13:23 to play. Two possessions later he gave SFA its first lead of the game on a pair of free throws, then converted a three-point play on the Lumberjacks' next touch when he was fouled on a layup and hit the free throw. SFA led, 49-44, with 11:52 to play at that point.
The Demons retook the lead at the 9:41 mark when Baker was again fouled on a three and knocked down all three foul shots. SFA trailed by only two, 67-65, but turned the ball over on its last two possessions, and Northwestern hit free throws in the closing seconds to set the final margin.
SFA shot just 38 percent from the field, despite a 32-24 advantage in the paint. SFA outrebounded the Demons, 43-31, and finished with a 25-12 edge in second-chance points, but the Northwestern State bench outscored the SFA reserves, 24-3.
-- SFA --