Dec. 1, 2012
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks moved to 5-0 for the first time since 1981-82 on Saturday, getting 18 points from Taylor Smith and 15 from Antonio Bostic in a 56-51 win over San Diego at William R. Johnson Coliseum.
SFA (5-0) managed to avenge a 66-61 loss a year ago to the Toreros (3-5) by forcing 20 San Diego turnovers and limiting leading scorer Johnny Dee to just two points on 1-of-6 shooting after averaging nearly 17 points per game entering Saturday evening.
The `Jacks shot just 41 percent from the floor and did not outrebound its opponent for the first time in 15 games; however, they did allow just a pair of offensive rebounds to the Toreros and made the most of its opportunities, outscoring USD 10-1 in second-chance points and owning a 10-point advantage in points off of turnovers.
Smith had six rebounds and a pair of blocks to go along with his game-high 18 points, while Bostic did yeoman's work all night defensively on Dee and had turned out a career-high five steals with his 15 points. Hal Bateman also had five assists and a steal, and Jacob Parker added seven points and three rebounds.
Point guard Chris Anderson led USD with 13 points, nine rebounds and six assists in 37 minutes of work.
SFA fell behind for just the second time all season early in the first half when Anderson drained one of USD's four three-point baskets on the night, putting the Toreros up 10-7 less than four minutes in to the game; however, SFA answered with consecutive buckets from Parker to spark an 8-2 run and did not fall behind again until a five straight points from John Sinis capped an 8-0 Torero run. That stretch lasted nearly seven minutes without SFA cracking the scoring column until Desmond Haymon connected on SFA's first shot from beyond the arc on the night to knot things at 20-20.
From there the `Jacks clamped down defensively, holding USD to just four points in the final 3:48, and took the lead for good on consecutive buckets from Smith and Thomas Walkup who got his lone bucket of the night on a breakaway two-handed dunk to put the `Jacks up 25-22 with 2:39 to go in the period. USD did manage to cut the lead back to within a point, but SFA answered again with a bucket from Smith and a triple from Deshaunt Walker to give the `Jacks a six-point lead going into the break.
Neither team was able to mount much of a run in the second period, but the `Jacks never surrendered the advantage. SFA did much of its damage in the second period from the foul line, hitting 10 of its 16 freebies in the second period. USD got as close as one point on a pair of foul shots from Mike Davis with just under 11 minutes to play, but SFA immediately responded with four straight points of its own in less than a minute to push the lead quickly back to five.
From there the Toreros were not able to cut the SFA lead to less than three points until Anderson converted on a three-point play with 3:21 to go to narrow the lead to just 48-46. But SFA again answered, this time with a Bostic jumper on the ensuing possession and then milked the clock down before hitting four foul shots and another Bostic transition jumper in the final 90 seconds to hang on for the victory.
SFA will next put its perfect mark on the line on Wednesday when it travels to College Station to take on Texas A&M, looking for its first win over the Aggies since the 1970-71 season.