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    `Jacks Crush Patriots In Non-Conference Finale
    Darius Gardner had seven assists in Friday's win over UT-Tyler.
    Darius Gardner had seven assists in Friday's win over UT-Tyler.

    Dec. 30, 2011

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    NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Lumberjacks put five players in double figures, led by Taylor Smith's first career double-double, and snapped a three-game losing streak with an emphatic 93-36 win over UT-Tyler in the final non-conference tune-up for SFA this season on Friday at William R. Johnson Coliseum.

    Smith finished with career highs in both points (21) and rebounds (13) and the Lumberjacks (6-7) tied a season high by forcing 33 Patriot (2-8) turnovers in just the second all-time meeting between the two schools. He hit nine of his 14 shots from the field and had seven of SFA's 16 offensive rebounds on the night. He was joined in double figures by fellow big man Jereal Scott, who finished with 14 points thanks primarily to an impressive 10-for-12 showing at the charity stripe.

    Kevin Broussard and Jonathan King each finished with a dozen points and freshman Micah Delph added 10 off the bench, including a pair of first-half threes, to help the Lumberjack bench outshine the Patriot reserves by a 60-14 edge. Darius Gardner finished with just two points, but dished out seven assists while junior point man Hal Bateman had four assists and four steals without a turnover in 21 minutes of work.

    The `Jacks opened up the game on a 10-2 run and did not allow the Patriots into double figures until nearly 16 minutes into the game. Smith had 11 of his game-high 21 points in the opening period as the `Jacks shot nearly 43 percent from the field, but also limited UT-Tyler to just 5-for-21 (23.8 percent) shooting in holding a commanding 42-14 lead at the break.

    UT-Tyler needed less than seven minutes to double its point total in the second half, scoring on each of its first four possessions of the second half; however, SFA clamped down and managed to hold the Patriots to just eight points in the final 14 minutes of the game, half of which came from the free throw line.

    Meanwhile, SFA did plenty of work on its own from the foul line in canning 17 of 25 freebies in the second half alone to continue to add to its lead. Broussard's only triple of the night gave SFA a 50-point lead with less than four minutes to go before Bateman picked up the game's last three points to help SFA secure its largest margin of victory since last year's season-opening, 114-49 win over Howard Payne.

    The `Jacks will now shift its focus to conference play when it goes on the road to take on Texas State in San Marcos on Jan. 4 at Strahan Coliseum. SFA will get its first SLC test at home on Jan. 7 when it hosts Southeastern Louisiana.

    -SFA-

      COMING SOON