MBB Game Notes: vs McNeese State

Hal Bateman and the 'Jacks will put their six-game win streak on the line vs McNeese State on Saturday.

Jan. 4, 2013

Game Notes In PDF Format

SFA (11-1, 2-0 SLC) vs McNeese State (6-5, 0-1 SLC)
Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013 • 6:00 p.m. (CT)
William R. Johnson Coliseum (7,203) • Nacogdoches, Texas
Radio: Q107.7 FM • TV: None • Live Stats: www.SFAJacks.com

• The Lumberjacks get their first taste of the Southland Conference’s new weekend schedule on Saturday when it puts its season-high, six-game win streak on the line on Saturday when it hosts McNeese State just two days after routing Lamar 79-43 to go to 2-0 in league play.

The Last Meeting
McNeese State66
February 5, 2012
Lake Charles, La.
Cowboys Take Down SFA
The McNeese State Cowboys got a career high 22 points from Dontae Cannon and moved into a tie for second place in the Southland Conference with a 66-56 win over Stephen F. Austin on Sunday afternoon at the Lake Charles Civic Center.

• SFA’s win over the Cardinals put head coach Danny Kaspar on the cusp of a coaching milestone with his 450th career win just one victory away. He has accumulated 230 of his wins at SFA and his 449 career victories rank second among Southland Conference coaches only to Northwestern State’s Mike McConathy.

• SFA forced a season high 29 turnovers and built a 30-point halftime advantage before finishing off Lamar, 79-43, on Thursday night at the William R. Johnson Coliseum. SFA put a dozen players in the scoring column on its way to its sixth win in a row, and the largest margin of victory over a Division I team this season. Taylor Smith and Deshaunt Walker were the only `Jacks to reach double figures with 10 points apiece, but seven players finished with at least six points. The 36-point win for SFA was its largest over a conference opponent since becoming a member of the Southland Conference entering the 1987-88 season. 

• The ‘Jacks face a tough weekend road swing when it travels to Central Arkansas and league-favorite Oral Roberts. SFA’s game vs the Golden Eagles on Saturday in Tulsa will be broadcast on Fox College Sports.

• The Lumberjacks will be looking to extend their streak of 44 consecutive games of holding opponents under 70 points. SFA went all of 2011-12 without allowing 70 points to an opponent and has done so in the first nine games of this season

• Stephen F. Austin and Wisconsin are the only two programs in the nation to be ranked in the top 10 nationally in scoring defense each of the last five seasons.

Danny Kaspar needs just one more wins to reach 450 for his career.

• SFA played exactly 30 games in the 2012 calendar year, going 24-6 in those games.

• The Lumberjacks enter Thursday's game averaging just 49.0 points allowed per game, making them the only squad in the country not to average 50 points allowed per game.

Series Notes
SFA has won each of the last three meetings in the series in Nacogdoches, not falling to the Cardinals at Johnson Coliseum since 2006. Recently all games have been tightly contested, with just one of the last 10 games between the teams being by more than a 12-point margin. The teams split last year's two meetings with SFA winning by 10 points in Beaumont in the regular season before Lamar eliminated No. 2 SFA in the SLC Tournament semifinals, 55-44, on the way to the tournament championship itself.

SITTIN’ ON 20: The ‘Jacks have six 20-win campaigns since becoming a Division I program in 1988. All six of those 20-win seasons have come under Danny Kaspar.

SUB-SEVENTY: SFA held each of its 32 opponents under 70 points in 2011-12, and has done the same in each of its first 10 games of 2012-13 to extend its school-record streak of sub-70 defensive performances to 44. The last team to score 70 on the ‘Jacks was Northwestern State, when they did so in a 70-65 win over SFA in 2010-11 in Natchitoches, La.

SMITH DOUBLES UP: Senior post Taylor Smith scored his second straight double-double with career highs of 25 points and 14 rebounds in SFA’s win at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. That performance also helped him win his second consecutive Southland Conference Player of the Week honor. Currently he leads the Southland in both field-goal percentage (.664) and blocks per game (2.6 bpg), while ranking in the top five in scoring (15.3 ppg) and rebounding (8.1 rpg).

CARDINAL RULE: SFA had no issues with downing Lamar on Thursday, blasting the Cardinals by 36 points in a 79-43 win. What was more impressive was the fact that the the 36-point margin of victory was SFA’s largest margin of victory in a conference game since SFA joined the Southland Conference for the 1987-88 season.

OKLHAOMA BREAKDOWN: SFA’s win at Oklahoma snapped a 36-game home win streak over non-conference opponents for the Sooners. Oddly enough, the last win at the Lloyd Noble Center by a Sooner non-conference opponent was in 2007 when the ‘Jacks escaped Norman with a 66-62 win.

SOUTHLAND OPENERS: In Danny Kaspar’s 13 seasons at SFA, the ‘Jacks are now 7-6 in Southland Conference openers after Saturday’s 67-56 win at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Before last season’s conference-opening win at Texas State, the ’Jacks had dropped three of their last four league-opening games and had lost five straight times when opening Southland play on the road. SFA is 4-5 under Kaspar in Southland openers away from home.

DEFENDING THE ARC: A year ago after 12 games the ‘Jacks were just 5-7 and allowing opponents to hit 35.7 percent of their shots from behind the arc, a mark which was near the bottom of the SLC. This season things have been drasticsally different. In addition to sporting an 11-1 record after 12 games, SFA is tops in the SLC in defending the three-point line, allowing its opponents to hit just 29.1 percent of its threes.

'JACKS MOVE UP IN MID-MAJOR TOP 25: SFA got an early Christmas present on Christmas Eve, breaking into the CollegeInsider.com Mid Major Top 25 for the first time this season. The ‘Jacks checked in at No. 25 and after its win at TAMUCC, found itself up to No. 22 in the latest poll released on Monday. The ‘Jacks are the only Southland Conference school to make an appearance in the poll this year. The last time SFA was in the poll was the 2008-09 season, reaching as high as No. 11.

PARKER’S HOMECOMING: Jacob Parker had a career afternoon in SFA’s win at Tulsa, scoring a career-high 16 points and pulling down four rebounds. A native of Bixby, Okla., which is just outside of Tulsa, Parker hit seven of his 10 shots from the field, including a pair of three-point buckets.

LOW-BALLED: SFA held Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to 46 points in an Islander win over in 2011 that tied for the fewest points by a Lumberjack opponent in an SFA loss over the last 13 seasons. In 13 years under Danny Kaspar, the ’Jacks have held the opposition below 50 points 60 times and lost only five times.

DEFENSE FIRST: The Lumberjacks finished third in the nation in scoring defense at 54.7 points per game allowed in 2011-12, a new school record. SFA has finished the year ranked among the top 10 in scoring defense in each of the last five seasons, including leading the nation in 2011 with 56.7 points per game and No. 2 rankings in both 2008 and 2009. This year has started off no different as SFA is leading the nation in scoring defense again, allowing just 49.0 points per game through its first 12 contests, holding nine of its opponents below 60 points. SFA is currently the only team in the country allowing less than 50 points per game.

AMONG NATION’S BEST: As a team the ‘Jacks are right at the top of the country in scoring defense, but the ‘Jacks also have a pair of individuals who are near the top of the country’s statistical rankings as well. As of the latest NCAA statistical report released on Dec. 31, senior Taylor Smith currently sports a .664 field goal percentage, which is sixth in the nation, while Hal Bateman’s 7.0 assists per game ranks 10th in the country.

HOME DEFENSE: SFA is known for its defensive prowess, but it is even moreso evident when playing at William R. Johnson Coliseum. SFA has held its opponents to 50 points or fewer in 19 of 38 games at home in the last three seasons, allowing just 51.6 points per game at home in 2010-11 and 53.1 points per game in 2011-12. It is allowing just 44.9 points per game in seven home games this season.

CHAIRMEN OF THE BOARDS: SFA did not have a single player in the Southland Conference top 10 in rebounding in 2011-12, but this year sports the league’s No. 3 rebounder in Taylor Smith (8.1 rpg) and is tops in the league in rebound margin by a wide gap, pulling down 8.0 rebounds per contest more than its opponent, just one year after leading the Southland in rebound margin (+7.1 rpg). The next closest team in the Southland in rebound margin is Oral Roberts, pulling in just 4.2 more rebounds per contest than its opponent.

HAL DO YOU DO?: Senior point guard Hal Bateman dished out a career-high 11 assists in SFA’s season-opening win over Howard Payne, the most for a Lumberjack since Eric Bell had 11 dimes in a road win at Northern Illinois during the 2007-08 season. Three games later he doled out another 10, making him the first ‘Jack since Marcus Clark in 2004-05 to have multiple games in the same season with 10+ assists. In addition, he ranks in the top 10 in the nation and leads the Southland Conference with 7.0 assists per game. The school record at SFA is 6.3 set by Winston Harrison in 1981-82.

BLOCK PARTY: Taylor Smith averaged 1.31 blocks pe rgame in less than 20 minutes of play as a junior, but this year that number is expected to skyrocket, and through four games he has not disappointed. Smith, who was a two-time league defensive player of the year at McLennan CC before coming to SFA, has 31 blocks (2.6 bpg) in the first 12 games of the season. Only two SFA players in the Division I era have blocked more shots in a single season than Smith’s 42 a year ago and only one Lumberjack has ever led the league in blocks -- Tim Holloway in 1989-90. Smith’s 2.6 blocks per game currently ranks first in the league.

HALF WAY THERE: The ‘Jacks were not at their best when playing from behind in 2011-12, but were exceptional when playing from out in front. That was most evident by the fact that the ‘Jacks went 19-1 a year ago when taking a lead into the half. Conversely, SFA was 1-11 when trailing at the break. This season had followed suit with the ‘Jacks getting victories after taking a halftime lead into the locker room in each of its first seven wins before overcoming a four-point halftime deficit to rally and knock off Oklahoma. SFA is 10-0 this year when leading at midway point.  

SAFE AT HOME: In 12-plus seasons under head coach Danny Kaspar, the Lumberjacks have compiled a 143-35 (.805) record in the William R. Johnson Coliseum. SFA is 339-126 (.729) all-time in the Coliseum. SFA has recorded seven straight seasons and nine campaigns in last 10 years with double-digit wins at home. The ‘Jacks are currently 7-0 at home this season.

IT’S BEEN A WHILE: Not since the 1957-58 season had the ‘Jacks pulled off what they managed to pull off in its season opener vs Howard Payne. SFA held HPU to just 30 points on the night, the least amount scored by an SFA opponent since Sam Houston State put up 30 in a 40-30 loss to the ‘Jacks in the 1957-58 season. Against the Yellow Jackets, SFA allowed just 15 shots to fall from the floor, none from beyond the arc and HPU missed its only free throw of the game.   

KASPAR KOUNTER: Danny Kaspar picked up his 200th win at SFA in last year’s season opener vs Centenary currently stands third all-time at SFA in head coaching wins with 230, trailing only Marshall Brown (345) and Bob Shelton (245). Kaspar also has 449 career wins between his time at SFA and Incarnate Word, second among active Southland Conference to Northwestern State’s Mike McConathy.



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