SFA Rolls Past Jackson State
Nov. 13, 2007
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - With junior forward Josh Alexander out of the lineup for Tuesday's game against Jackson State, the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks needed someone to step up. As it turned out, the `Jacks found four someones, led by junior center Matt Kingsley. Kingsley scored 22 points and pulled down 13 rebounds in the best all-around performance of his career to lead a quartet of Lumberjacks in double digits on the way to a 70-55 win over the Tigers.
Alexander has been the Lumberjacks' leading scorer and rebounder in each of his first two seasons on campus. His absence could have been disastrous against a Jackson State team that led the Southwestern Athletic Conference in scoring last season. But Kingsley answered the bell, as did Eddie Williams and Nick Shaw - who each posted his first double-figure scoring game in a Lumberjack uniform - along with senior guard Gerald Fonzie.
Jackson State opened a five-point lead at the midway point of the first half. But Williams followed a Benson Akpan jumper with a steal and a layup at the other end to cut the lead to one (15-14). After a missed shot on the ensuing Tiger possession, Akpan pulled down the board and sophomore point guard Eric Bell whipped a quick outlet ahead to Williams for another layup to put the Lumberjacks ahead.
Williams would finish with a career-high 16 points, but, most importantly, his first two buckets helped spark a 20-0 run that put the Lumberjacks up by 17 (32-15) heading into the closing minutes of the first half. Jackson State would trim the lead to single digits four times in the second half and even pulled to within seven once, but SFA's 48-percent shooting from the floor was too much for the Tigers to overcome.
The Lumberjacks' leading scorers were a big part of that impressive shooting display. Kingsley hit 7-of-13 from the field, and Williams knocked down seven of his 12 shots, mostly on layups after he'd knifed through the Tiger defense to the iron. He also stuck a clutch 3-pointer with the shot clock winding down on a play that silenced a brief Jackson State run and boosted SFA back out to a 14-point lead with 4:33 to play. Shaw finished with 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting and pulled down seven rebounds. Fonzie went 5-of-13 from the floor to add 11 points to the pot.
Meanwhile, the Lumberjacks held Jackson State to 31 percent from the field and beat the Tigers on the boards, 43-34. As a team, the Lumberjacks pulled down more than 43 rebounds only twice all of last season. Kingsley grabbed five of his 13 rebounds on the offensive end, leading an effort that saw the Lumberjacks pull down 14 offensive boards and score 18 second-chance points. Fonzie added five rebounds, and Williams and Scott Weaver each pulled down four.
A game after dishing out five assists against Texas-Tyler, Bell was on pace to brush double-figure dimes in Tuesday's game. He had four assists at the half, but was sidelined by foul trouble for much of the second period and finished with seven.
Guard Catraiva Givens led Jackson State with 14 points, and backcourt partner Darrion Griffin scored 13. Held to just 18-of-58 shooting for the game, the Tigers did most of their damage at the foul line, where they were 16-of-19.
Tuesday's game marked Kingsley's third career double-double and his best outing since he scored 21 points and pulled down 11 rebounds against Southeastern Louisiana last season. It was the fourth time in his career for Kingsley to break the 20-point barrier.
SFA will return to action this weekend, when the Lumberjacks take the road for the first time this season. SFA will face Texas Tech in an 11 a.m. game Saturday in Lubbock, Texas.
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