MBB Game Notes: vs Oral Roberts

SFA currently holds sole possession of first place in the SLC entering Saturday's game vs ORU.

Feb. 8, 2013

Game Notes In PDF Format

SFA (19-2, 10-1 SLC) vs Oral Roberts (14-9, 9-2 SLC)
Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013 • 6:00 p.m. (CT)
William R. Johnson Coliseum (7,203) • Nacogdoches, Texas
Radio: Q107.7 FM • TV: Comcast Sports Net Houston • Live Stats: www.SFAJacks.com

• The ‘Jacks reclaimed sole possession of first place in the Southland Conference on Thursday when it blasted Central Arkansas, 72-36, but now will have a difficult test at hand when it takes on Oral Roberts on Saturday after the Golden Eagles suffered just their second league loss of the year at Northwestern State.

The Last Meeting
Oral Roberts50
January 12, 2013
Tulsa, Okla.
SFA Takes Hold Of SLC Lead With Win Over ORU
Antonio Bostic led three Lumberjacks in double figures with 17 points and Stephen F. Austin took hold of first place in the Southland Conference with a 61-50 win over Oral Roberts on Saturday at the Mabee Center.

• Saturday’s game will be broadcast live on Comcast Sports Net Houston with Dave Raymond providing play-by-play and former Texas Southern head coach Tony Harvey on color analysis. It is the fifth of eight scheduled TV games for the ‘Jacks this season.

• SFA has won 14 consecutive games at home, a mark tied for the seventh-longest home win streak in the country. Currently the ‘Jacks are 11-0 at home this season, allowing just 44.6 points per game on the William R. Johnson floor with an average margin of victory of nearly 28 points.

• SFA got 21 points and eight rebounds from Taylor Smith and doubled up Central Arkansas, 72-36, on Thursday at William R. Johnson Coliseum to complete the season sweep of the Bears. UCA put up 69 points on the `Jacks in the teams’ first meeting in Conway, the most allowed by SFA this season, but it was a different story from the start on Thursday as SFA raced out to a double-digit lead in the first 10 minutes of the game and held the Bears to 16 points less than their previous season low. 

• One of the league’s most difficult traditional road swings awaits SFA next week when it heads south for a Thursday match at Nicholls followed by a Saturday matinee at Southeastern La.

• The Lumberjacks will be looking to extend their streak of 53 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 21 games of this season

• SFA’s 11-game win streak came to an end at Northwestern State. At the time it was the second-longest active win streak in the country. The ‘Jacks have also won 14 games in a row at William R. Johnson Coliseum, a mark tied for seventh 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.

• Taylor Smith became SFA’s all-time shot blocker vs McNeese St., moving past Matt Kingsley (102)

• SFA is 33-7 since the the beginning of the 2011 calendar year.

• The Lumberjacks enter Thursday's game averaging just 48.9 points allowed per game, the lowest mark in the country. No team in the nation has ended the year allowing an average of less than 50 points per game since the 1992-93 Princeton Tigers.

Series Notes
SFA has taken on the Golden Eagles 10 times with ORU holding a 6-4 lead in the series. ORU had taken three of the last five meetings with SFA before ‘Jacks knocked off the Golden Eagles 61-50 in the team’s first matchup this year.

SFA LASTS WITH THE ELITE: SFA dropped just its second game of the season at Northwestern State, dropping the ‘Jacks from a very short list of one-loss teams left in the country. But going into Thursday’s game, five teams in the nation with two or less losses. Each of the others are ranked in the latest AP Top 10.

STREAK BUSTED: An 11-game win streak for SFA came to an end as well at the hands of the Demons, a streak that was the second-longest active win streak in the country at the time. Still, SFA has also won 14 in a row at William R. Johnson Coliseum, a streak that is tied with Missouri, Michigan, Michigan State and Louisiana Tech for the seventh longest home win streak in the country.

GO WEST YOUNG MEN: As a member of the Southland Conference the Lumberjacks had an automatic tie in to this year’s Ramada BracketBusters event and learned of its opponent and destination on Monday. The 'Jacks will head to Long Beach, Calif., for a Feb. 22 meeting with Long Beach State, the current leaders of the Big West Conference. The game will be at 8:00 p.m. CT on ESPN U the first regular season game in SFA’s history to be televised on either ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU.

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 20 games of 2012-13 to extend its school-record streak of sub-70 defensive performances to 53. 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.

CARDINAL RULE: SFA had no issues with downing Lamar in its first meeting this season, 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.  Recently the ‘Jacks matched that margin in its 72-36 win over Central Arkansas on Thursday.

SAME 'OL, SAME 'OL: In addition to defense, consistency has been the name of the game this season for SFA, and it begins with the starting five. The ‘Jacks opened the season with the starting five of Hal Bateman, Antonio Bostic, Desmond Haymon, Jacob Parker and Taylor Smith and have not varied since the season opener. Entering Wednseday’s game at McNeese State, SFA is one of just seven teams in the country to have used the same starting five in every game. The others include: SMU, Detroit, Toledo, Creighton, Arizona State, and Murray State.

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

TOP OF THE WALL: Taylor Smith has been outstanding as SFA’s last wall of defense this year, and the numbers are showing just that. The senior has rejected 28 shots in his last five games. Smith, who was a two-time league defensive player of the year at McLennan CC before coming to SFA, has 67 blocks (3.2 bpg) in 21 games of the season, surpassing Emanuel Jackson’s 61 blocks in 1999-00 as the season record in the Division I era at SFA. Only one Lumberjack has ever led the league in blocks -- Tim Holloway in 1989-90. Smith’s 3.2 blocks per game currently ranks first in the league and seventh in the nation.

FIRST HALF KNOCKOUT: As the top scoring defense in the country, the Lumberjacks have managed to hold eight of their 20 opponents to under 20 points in the first half this season, taking a lead into the break 16 times; however, SFA did itself one better at McNeese State, holding the Cowboys to just nine points in the opening 20 minutes en route to a 26-9 halftime lead. The nine points scored was the first time an SFA team has held an opponent to single digits in a half since Central Arkansas scored just seven points in a win in Nacogdoches during the 2008-09 season. That mark is tied for the fourth-lowest first-half total in the country this year.

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 10 home games this season.

SAFE AT HOME: In 12-plus seasons under head coach Danny Kaspar, the Lumberjacks have compiled a 147-35 (.806) record in the William R. Johnson Coliseum. SFA is 343-126 (.730) all-time in the Coliseum. SFA has recorded eight straight seasons and 11 campaigns in last 12 years with double-digit wins at home after its win over Nicholls pushed the ‘Jacks to 10-0 at home this season.

TAYLOR MADE: Senior post Taylor Smith has scored his seventh double-double this season with 21 points and 18 rebounds in SFA’s win at McNeese State. He has been named the league’s player of the week twice, and currently leads the nation in field-goal percentage (.705) and blocks per game (3.2 bpg), while ranking in the top five in scoring (15.8 ppg) and rebounding (9.0 rpg). But he has been evern better in league play, avearging a double-double vs SLC teams with 16.6 points and 10.2 rebounds while shooitng .752. His seven double-doubles on the year is tied with Oral Roberts’ Damen Bell-Holter for tops in the Southland.

DEFYING LOGIC: It stands to reason to think that a team which both outrebounds and outshoots its opponent has amplified chances to pull out a victory. Such has been the case for this year’s SFA squad, leading the Southland in both field-goal percentage and rebound margin; however, its loss to Northwestern State defied that logic as the ‘Jacks both outshot (41.7% to 36.8%) and outrebounded (43 to 35) the Demons and still fell in defeat. It was just the sixth time in 175 games since the 2007-08 season SFA has outshot and outrebounded an opponent and still been defeated.

‘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. 82.  SFA is one of two SLC schools to check in on the RPI Top 100, joined by Northwestern State (No. 99), while Oral Roberts just missed the RPI Top 100 at 101.

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.

RANK AND FILE: 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 eventually moved as high as No. 10 before Saturday’s loss at Northwestern State dropped it to No. 11 in the latest poll released on Monday. The ‘Jacks are the only Southland Conference school to make an appearance in the poll this year, but still have not reached its Mid Major Top 25 peak as it did when it received a first-place vote and peaked at No. 6 in the poll during the 2007-08 season.

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 17-0 this year when leading at midway point.

DEFENDING THE ARC: A year ago the ‘Jacks allowed opponents to hit 33.3 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 19-2 record after 21 games, SFA is tops in the SLC in defending the three-point line, allowing its opponents to hit just 26.2 percent of its threes.

VOTES OF CONFIDENCE: This week the ‘Jacks picked up a few more notches on its belt when it received a pair of votes in the USA Today Coaches Poll on January 21. It was the first time SFA had received votes since getting votes in both the AP and Coaches Polls during its 2007-08 SLC title season. The ‘Jacks were also ranked No. 1 in the first UPS Team Performance Index, also released on Jan. 21, which measures efficiency and teamwork to highlight teams that are well balanced across America. SFA came in at No. 3 in this week’s UPS TPI report.

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 been no different as SFA is leading the nation in scoring defense again, allowing just 48.9 points per game through its first 21 contests, holding 15 of its opponents below 60 points. No team in the country has managed to average allowing less than 50 points per game since the 1992-93 Princeton Tigers.

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 Feb. 8, senior Taylor Smith currently sports a .705 field goal percentage, which is second in the nation, while Hal Bateman’s 6.3 assists per game ranks 16th 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 (9.0 rpg) and is tops in the league in rebound margin by a wide gap, pulling down 8.2 rebounds per contest more than its opponent, Oral Roberts who is +5.0 in rebound margin.

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 238, trailing only Marshall Brown (345) and Bob Shelton (245). With nine 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.

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.

CLAMPING DOWN: The Lumberjacks were at their defensive best on vs Southeastern in the second half, holding the Lions to just 4-for-24 (16 percent) shooting from the field in holding them to just 15 points in the final 20 minutes. Oddly enough, the ‘Jacks seriously put the clamps on the Lions a year ago as well in the second half, holding Southeastern to just 3-for-16 shooting from the field in holding the Lions to just 36 points, marking the first time since 2008 that SFA had held a Southland opponent under the 40-point plateau. It was the lowest point total by a Southland opponent for the `Jacks in the Danny Kaspar era, and the eighth of 10 times since 2007-08 the ‘Jacks have kept an opponent under 40 points.

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 16th in the nation and leads the Southland Conference with 6.3 assists per game. The school record at SFA is 6.3 set by Winston Harrison in 1981-82.



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