SFA Clinches SLC Crown With Win Over `Kats
March 7, 2013
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Desmond Haymon had 17 points and Antoino Bostic registered his second career double-double as the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks pulled away from Sam Houston State in the second half to take a 57-42 win and claim no worse than a share of its third Southland Conference title on Thursday at William R. Johnson Coliseum.
SFA (25-3, 15-2 SLC) secured the No. 1 overall seed in next week's league tournament in Katy with the victory over the Bearkats (15-14, 8-9 SLC), its fifth win over SHSU in the past two seasons. It is also SFA's third league title and the first since the 2008-09 season, with all three crowns coming under head coach Danny Kaspar.
Haymon and Bostic were the only Lumberjacks to reach double figures on the night, with 16 of Haymon's 17 points coming in the second half. He hit all eight of his foul shots and had a three-pointer, while Bostic tied a career high with 10 rebounds to go with his 14 points.
Taylor Smith finished with nine points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots in 35 minutes, while Hal Bateman added five points and five of SFA's 10 steals on the night. Jacob Parker also added seven points and nine rebounds.
James Thomas was the only Bearkat to reach double figures in scoring, putting in 10 points to go with five rebounds as SHSU shot just 34.9 percent from the floor, including just 22 percent in the first half.
The Lumberjacks started off ice cold, missing their first 10 shots from the field for the game, not getting a field goal to go until a three-pointer from Bostic nearly nine minutes in.
Still, Sam Houston was not able to take advantage of SFA's early inaccuracy and held just an 11-10 lead with just over seven minutes to go in the half. But from there the `Jacks closed out the half on a 14-3 run with five players cracking the scoring column in that stretch to hit the locker room with a 23-14 lead.
SFA then methodically increased its lead over the first half of the second period with Haymon taking over after Smith was sent to the bench with his third foul of the game less than five minutes into the period. Haymon responded by scoring nine of SFA's next 11 points and helped the `Jacks turn what was a 10-point lead at Smith's exit to a 14-point lead at his return with eight minutes to go.
The `Jacks never let the `Kats any closer than 12 points the rest of the way, going to the foul line 17 times in the second period and making seven of its final eight freebies in the game's final two minutes.
SFA will close out the regular season at home vs Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Saturday with a win securing an outright league title for the Lumberjacks. Tip time is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.