Dec. 29, 2009
MORAGA, Calif. -
Stephen F. Austin used an 11-0 first-half run to take control and never looked back, cruising to a 73-50 win over Howard Tuesday in the first game of the Saint Mary's Shamrock Office Solutions Classic. Junior guard Eddie Williams scored 17 points to lead the Lumberjacks.
The win moves SFA to 8-3 on the season, while Howard falls to 1-11.
The Lumberjacks' crucial first-half run started at the 12:38 mark, when Howard's Calvin Thompson hit a 3-pointer to get the Bison within three at 12-9. But freshman center Will Reinke answered with a layup at the other end, and Howard missed its next five shot attempts.
Meanwhile, SFA rattled off 11 straight points with five different players scoring in the run, which lasted until Paul Kirkpatrick hit a free throw with 6:35 to play. The Bison didn't connect again from the field until Mike Phillips hit a three with 5:42 left. In all, their field goal drought lasted 6:56.
The `Jacks went to halftime with a 32-20 lead. Howard cut the advantage to single digits early in the second period, but SFA scored on four of its first five possessions of the half and went on an 8-0 run to press its edge back out to 17 points (42-25) with 15:50 to play.
Scott scored the final two buckets in that run and later scored 10 straight points for SFA. His final bucket in that run gave SFA a 63-39 lead, its largest of the night at 24.
Williams did most of his damage on drives to the basket, helping SFA to a 42-8 advantage in points in the paint. Centers Scott and Reinke added to the effort by combining for 25 points. Reinke tied a career-high with 11, and Scott finished with 14 points, all in the second half.
The eight points in the paint by Howard mark the lowest total for a Lumberjack opponent this season. The previous low mark was 10, posted by Jackson State in the Nov. 21 meeting.
SFA's strong play down low resulted in a 48-percent shooting effort, while the Lumberjacks' defense forced the Bison to look for points from outside. Howard attempted 19 3-pointers, connecting on eight. The Bison shot 25 percent from the floor.
The Lumberjacks finished with a 39-26 edge in rebounding, led by eight boards from Williams. That figure was one short of tying his career high. Scott added six rebounds - five in the second period.
Senior point guard Eric Bell finished with four assists and three steals to lead the team in both categories.
Calvin Thompson scored 16 points to lead Howard.
The Lumberjacks will conclude play in the Shamrock Classic Wednesday with a 7 p.m. game against Binghamton. The Bearcats played host team Saint Mary's in Tuesday's nightcap.
-- SFA --