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    MBB Game Notes: vs Nicholls
    The 'Jacks are allowing just 49.4 points per game, the best mark in the nation.
    The 'Jacks are allowing just 49.4 points per game, the best mark in the nation.

    Jan. 18, 2013

    Game Notes In PDF Format

    SFA (15-1, 6-0 SLC) vs Nicholls (4-11, 3-2 SLC)
    Saturday, Jan. 19, 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

    STORY LINES
    • The Lumberjacks held off a stingy Southeastern Louisiana team on Thursday to run its win streak to 10 in a row, but will have its hands full with a Nicholls squad on Saturday that is on a high after a convincing 93-78 upset win at Northwestern State on Thursday in Natchitoches, La.

    The Last Meeting
    Nicholls58  
    SFA62OT
    February 8, 2012
    Nacogdoches, Texas
    `Jacks Edge Colonels In Overtime
    Nicholls erased a 12-point second half lead for the Lumberjacks to force overtime, but Stephen F. Austin hit seven of its eight free throws in the extra frame and came up with two key stops in the last minute to hold off the Colonels 62-58 on Wednesday at William R. Johnson Coliseum.

    • SFA’s win over Southeastern Louisiana gave SFA a 6-0 start in league play, marking the best start to league play for the ‘Jacks since the 2002-03 team started 10-0. The ‘Jacks 15-1 overall start has also eclipsed the 2007-08 team’s 12-1 start as the best start for an SFA squad since the progam moved to Division I at the beginning of the 1987-88 season and is the best start overall since the 1985-86 team started the year with a 17-1 mark.

    THE LAST TIME OUT
    • The Stpehen F. Austin Lumberjacks found themselves down at the half for just the third time all year, but held Southeastern Louisiana to just 16 percent shooting in the second half and picked up its 10th win in a row, 52-40. SFA, the lone Southland team left unbeaten in league play, led 18-12 with less than seven minutes to play in the first half before allowing a 13-0 run to the Lions that helped Southeastern take a 25-23 lead into the break. But the `Jacks clamped down in the second half, outscoring Southeastern 20-3 to start the second period and never allowing its lead back to single digits, just missing holding the Lions to under 40 points for the second consecutive season. 

    UP NEXT
    • The ‘Jacks get nearly a week off to prepare for one of the nation’s top scoring teams - Northwestern State - on January 26 in Natchitoches.

    QUICK HITS
    • The Lumberjacks will be looking to extend their streak of 48 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

    • SFA's current nine-game win streak is tied with UCLA for the 9th longest in the nation. The `Jacks have also won 12 games in a row at William R. Johnson Coliseum, a mark tied for 12th best in the country.

    • 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.

    • SFA's win over McNeese State was Danny Kaspar's 450th of 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 49.4 points allowed per game, the lowest mark in the country.

    Series Notes
    SFA has played three overtime games with the Colonels since 2008, with the ‘Jacks having won each of the last two OT contests. SFA has won each of the last eight meetings with the Colonels played in Nacogdoches, not dropping one to Nicholls since Danny Kaspar’s first season in the 2000-01 season.

    SFA AMONG THE ELITE: After Michigan fell on Sunday at Ohio State, there were no unbeaten teams remaining in college basketball; however, entering Saturday there are nine one-loss teams remaining across the country with the Lumberjacks' 15-1 record putting them in that group. Each of the other eight teams left in the group are ranked no lower than No. 12 in the latest AP Top 25. Here is a list of the nine remaining one-loss teams in college basketball:

    Creighton (17-1), Gonzaga (17-1), Michigan (17-1), Syracuse (16-1), Louisville (15-1), Duke (15-1), Arizona (15-1), Kansas (15-1), and SFA (15-1).

    GOING STREAKIN': The 'Jacks have won nine in a row and will be going for its 11th victory in a row on Thursday against Southeastern Louisiana. The 10-game streak is tied with UCLA for the ninth longest current win streak in the country, but a win over the Lions would give SFA its first 10-game win streak since the 2007-08 season.  SFA has also won 12 in a row at William R. Johnson Coliseum, a streak that is tied with five other teams for the 12th longest home win streak in the country.

    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 48. 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.

    SITTIN' ON 20: The 'Jacks have six 20-win campaigns since becoming a Division I program in 1988 and are just five wins away from its seventh. All six of those 20-win seasons have come under Danny Kaspar.

    SMITH DOUBLES UP: Senior post Taylor Smith scored his fourth double-double in five games with 23 points and 12 rebounds in SFA’s win over Central Arkansas. Just three games prior he put up 25 points and 14 rebounds at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in a game which helped him win his second consecutive Southland Conference Player of the Week honor. Currently he leads the Southland in both field-goal percentage (.699) and blocks per game (2.6 bpg), while ranking in the top five in scoring (15.3 ppg) and rebounding (8.7 rpg). He has five double-doubles on the year, tied with McNeese State’s Desharick Guidry and Oral Robert’s Damen Bell-Holter for tops in the Southland.

    SOONER STATE SWEEP: The `Jacks have crossed the Red River into Oklahoma three times this year, and each time they have headed back south it has been with a victory in its back pocket. SFA has recorded road wins at Tulsa (57-41), at Oklahoma (56-55) and at Oral Roberts (61-50) this season, by an average margin of victory of 9.67 points.

    'JACKS IN THE RPI: When the latest NCAA RPI report came out on Monday, the Lumberjacks found themselves with the highest RPI of any team in the Southland Conference at No. 55.  SFA is one of three SLC schools to check in on the RPI Top 100, joined by Northwestern State (No. 67) and Oral Roberts (No. 88).

    CARDINAL RULE: SFA had no issues with downing Lamar, 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.

    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 20 of 39 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 44.6 points per game in eight home games this season.

    SAFE AT HOME: In 12-plus seasons under head coach Danny Kaspar, the Lumberjacks have compiled a 145-35 (.805) record in the William R. Johnson Coliseum. SFA is 341-126 (.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 9-0 at home this season.

    OU SERIOUS?: 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.

    DEFENDING THE ARC: A year ago after 16 games the ‘Jacks were just 9-7 and allowing opponents to hit 33.8 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 15-1 record after 14 games, SFA is second in the SLC in defending the three-point line, allowing its opponents to hit just 29.0 percent of its threes, which is the best in the Southland.

    '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 wins over Lamar and McNeese State last week, found itself up to No. 15 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.

    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 62 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 49.4 points per game through its first 16 contests, holding 11 of its opponents below 60 points.

    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 Jan. 7, senior Taylor Smith currently sports a .699 field goal percentage, which is second in the nation, while Hal Bateman's 6.6 assists per game ranks 15th in the country.

    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. 2 rebounder in Taylor Smith (8.7 rpg) and is tops in the league in rebound margin by a wide gap, pulling down 7.7 rebounds per contest more than its opponent, just one year after leading the Southland in rebound margin (+7.1 rpg).

    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 15th in the nation and leads the Southland Conference with 6.6 assists per game. The school record at SFA is 6.3 set by Winston Harrison in 1981-82.

    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 234, trailing only Marshall Brown (345) and Bob Shelton (245). With 15 games left on the slate, it's still very possible that Kaspar moves past Brown for second on the all-time list at SFA by season's end. Also, SFA's win over McNeese State gave Kaspar his 450th career win between his time at SFA and Incarnate Word, second among active Southland Conference to Northwestern State's Mike McConathy.

    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 42 blocks (2.6 bpg) in the first 13 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 2.5 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 13-0 this year when leading at midway point.  

    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.

    -SFA-

      COMING SOON