SFA takes on Sam Houston State tonight at 7pm in Huntsville.
Feb. 29, 2012
Game Notes in PDF Format
Stephen F. Austin at Sam Houston State
February 29, 2012 • 7:00 p.m. CT
Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum (6,103) • Nacogdoches, Texas
Radio: Q107.7 FM • TV: None • Online: www.gobearkats.com
Record: 17-11 (10-4)
Last 5/Streak: 4-1/W3
Coach: Danny Kaspar
At SFA: 216-135
SID: Ben Rikard
Record: 12-17 (6-8)
Last 5/Streak: 3-2/L1
Coach: Jason Hooten
At TAMUCC: Same
SID: Paul Ridings
GAME TIME: SFA moved into a tie for second place in the Southland Conference on Saturday and now will look to remain hot on Wednesday when it takes on Piney Woods rival Sam Houston State at Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum in Huntsville.
LAST GAME: Taylor Smith and Jonathan King each finished with double-doubles and Stephen F. Austin put four players in double figures in running away from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 74-41, on Saturday at William R. Johnson Coliseum. The `Jacks have now won at least 10 games in conference play in four of the last five years and moved into a tie with McNeese State for second place in the league with just two games remaining after the Cowboys dropped their second consecutive game of the year on Saturday afternoon in Lake Charles to Nicholls. SFA finished shot a season-best 61.1 percent from the floor against the Islanders and held its second straight opponent under 30 percent from the field as TAMUCC hit just 13 of its 50 shots from the field (26.0 percent). Smith, who did not score in the first half, finished as one of three Lumberjacks with a game-high 17 points, while flirting with a triple double by finishing with 12 rebounds and rejecting seven shots while making his first start of the year in place of Jereal Scott who sat out due to injury. He was joined by Antonio Bostic and Desmond Haymon with 17 apiece, with 10 of Bostic’s coming in the first half. King had 10 of his 14 points in the first half and ripped down a career-best 10 rebounds, including five on the offensive end.
THE BEARKATS: Unlike SFA, Sam Houston State still has work to do to qualify for next week’s Southland Conference Tournament in Katy. They were outscored 44-21 in the second half of Saturday’s home loss to Lamar. They stand at 6-8 in the SLC and despite averaging just 59.3 points per game on offense, rank second in the SLC only behind SFA in scoring defense by allowing just 60.5 per contest. They have lost five of their last six games on their home floor with the lone win in that span coming vs Central Arkansas on February 15.
vs. Sam Houston State: SFA trails the all-time series vs Sam Houston State 99-93, but did pull out a 67-66 overtime victory in the team’s last meeting in Nacogdoches on Jan. 25. SFA is just 7-16 vs SHSU in Danny Kaspar’s tenure as head coach.
COVERAGE: Saturday’s game can be viewed via SFA Alll-Access at www.sfajacks.com
UP NEXT: SFA closes out the 2011-12 regular season on Saturday at home vs Northwestern State. The game will serve not only as Senior Night for SFA’s lone senior Jereal Scott, but also as Danny Kaspar mustache night where fans with a mustache get in free.
SUB-SEVENTY: SFA has held each of its first 28 opponents under 70 points this season, setting a new school record for the longest streak of sub-70 defensive performances to open up a season. In fact, SFA is the only team remaining in the country to have not allowed 70 points in a game to a single opponent.
TAYLOR MADE: Junior post Taylor Smith went 8-for-12 in Saturday’s win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, and leads the Southland with a league-leading field goal percentage of .717, with the next closest to him being Sam Houston’s Steven Werner, a former teammate of Smith at McLennan CC. No Lumberjack has led the Southland in field goal percentage since Ron Banks did so in 2001 (.593), while no player in the Southland has shot greater than 70 percent for the year since Nothwestern State’s Jethro Owens did so in 1991 (.714).
BLOCK PARTY: With 10 rejections in its win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, the ‘Jacks matched its highest single-game block total since 2007, thanks in large part to big man Taylor Smith. The 6-6 junior swatted away a career-best seven Islander shots in the gam, setting a new high-water mark for single-game blocks by a Lumberjack in the Danny Kaspar era.
HOME DEFENSE: SFA held its opponents to 50 points or fewer in nine of 16 games at home last season, and allowed just 51.6 points per game at home in 2010-11. In 14 games at home this year SFA is allowing just 53.1 points per game, including just 36 points to Southeastern Louisiana and UT-Tyler.
AN “A” FOR EFFICIENCY: It was hard to have a better night offensively than SFA had on Saturday vs Texas A&M-Corpus Chrisit, especially in tne second half. SFA shot a season-high 61.1 percent from the field in the game and 79.4 percent in the second half alone. It was the highest single-game field goal percentage for the ‘Jacks since they shot 63.0 percent vs Jackson State in 2007, and just the second time since 2006 that it has shot at least 75.0 percent for a half.
A DOUBLE DOUBLE-DOUBLE: The ‘Jacks had just four double-doubles on the year entering Saturday after totaling 12 in 2010-11. SFA added two double-doubles to that total as Jonathan King had 14 points and a career-best 10 rebounds and Taylor Smith flirted with the first SFA triple-double since 1973, picking up 17 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocks.
LOW-BALLED: SFA held Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to just 41 points in it’s win over the Islanders on Saturday, but it was the 46 points A&M-Corpus Christi put up in its win over SFAin 2011 that tied for the fewest points by a Lumberjack opponent in an SFA loss over the last 11 seasons. In 12 years under Danny Kaspar, the ’Jacks have held the opposition below 50 points 57 times and lost only five times.
HALF WAY THERE: The ‘Jacks have not been the best at playing from behind this year, but have also been pretty solid when playing from out in front. That could not be more evident than the fact that the ‘Jacks are 16-1 this season when taking a lead into the half. Conversely, SFA is 1-10 when trailing at the half with its lone come-from-behind win being at Texas State to open league play. The only loss in that stretch came on Feb. 15 when it squandered a 13-point halftime lead to league-leading UT Arlington.
CHAIRMEN OF THE BOARDS: SFA may not have a single player in the Southland Conference top 10 in rebounding, with Taylor Smith’s 6.0 rebounds per game leading the team, but as a team no group has been better in the SLC on the boards than the ‘Jacks. SFA is tops in the SLC with a +7.0 rebound margin through 27 games with Lamar a distant second, ranking SFA 11th in the nation in that category. Of SFA’s 28 opponents, only three have managed to pull down more rebounds than the ‘Jacks - most recently McNeese State in Sunday’s loss. It is the only time in 14 league games SFA had been outrebounded.
SAFE AT HOME: In 10-plus seasons under head coach Danny Kaspar, the Lumberjacks have compiled a 136-35 (.794) record in the William R. Johnson Coliseum. SFA is 332-126 (.724) all-time in the Coliseum. Its win over High Point gave SFA ist 10th home victory this season, meaning SFA has now recorded seven straight seasons and nine campaigns in last 10 years with double-digit wins at home.
45-MINUTE MAN: In both of SFA’s overtime wins over Sam Houston State and Nicholls, junior guard Antonio Bostic was the only man on either squad to never see the sideline during the game. Bostic played all 45 minutes of each game, marking the most minutes played by any Lumberjack since Josh Alexander played all 55 minutes in a 112-111 SFA win over North Dakota State in triple OT in the 2008-09 season at the Drake Hy-Vee Classic.
DEFENSE FIRST: The Lumberjacks led the nation in scoring defense at 56.7 points per game allowed in 2010-11. SFA has finished the year ranked among the top 10 in scoring defense in each of the last four seasons, including No. 2 rankings in 2008 and 2009. The best defensive season by a Lumberjack team in the Division I era was 2008-09, when SFA held the opposition to 56.1 points per game. This year they are right back where they have been accustomed, leading the SLC and ranking fifth in the nation in scoring defense at 55.0 ppg
DISTANCE LEARNING: Despite ranking at the bottom of the SLC in 3-point shooting, the ‘Jacks have been better from distance since entering league play. SFA is shooting at a 31.5 percent clip, including hitting a season high eight triples on 17 tries in its win at UTSA.
HI, MY NAME IS ____: SFA has just four returning players — including two starters — from last season. But with two of the four being sophomores, SFA has only six years of Division I basketball experience on the 2011-12 roster. That figure is tied for the fourth-fewest years of D-I experience in the nation.
BOUNCING BACK: SFA is 14-6 over the last two seasons in games following a loss. Over the last five seasons, the ’Jacks are 25-0 in home games following defeats. The last time SFA dropped two straight games with the second loss coming at home was the 2006-07 season, when the ’Jacks fell at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, then lost at home to UTSA in the regular-season finale.
BEAST AGAINST THE EAST: In five-plus years of divisional play in the Southland Conference, SFA has only lost one home game to a team from the Southland East Division. That was a 67-57 decision against Northwestern State in 2006-07, the first year of divisional action. Since then, the ’Jacks have reeled off 17 straight home wins against the East. SFA is 20-1 at home against East Division teams, and has a 32-8 overall mark against teams in that division.
HELPFUL HAND: SFA dished out 24 assists in its win over High Point, with 10 of those coming from junior guard Antonio Bostic. The junior’s previous career high in assists was just five going into the game, and he became the first ‘Jack to hit double figures in assists since Eric Bell had 11 dimes in a win at Northern Illinois on Nov. 24, 2007. Bostic also totaled 11 points in his effort, giving him his first career double-double.
A CAREER TO REMEMBER: Senior Jereal Scott is the lone member of SFA’s 2008 NCAA Tournament team on the roster, and as he reaches the end of his Lumberjack career it is easy to see that his name will be sprinkled throughout the record book when he is done. Scott recently eclipsed 1,100 points for his career and if he remains on his current pace will finish up in the top five all-time scorers in Division I history at SFA. He also needs just 13 more made free throws to become the 11th all-time at SFA with 300 for his career, a mark that he should reach by season’s end.
EXTRA SPECIAL: The ‘Jacks are now 2-0 in overtime games this season after knocking off Nicholls in OT, making SFA 6-1 in its last seven overtime games dating back through the 2008-09 season. Despite the extra five minutes, SFA was still able to hold the Colonels to just 58 points to mark the fourth time since the 1983-84 season that the ‘Jacks have held a team under 60 points in an overtime game.
FIVE & DIMES: As part of SFA’s efficient night on the offensive end vs Texas State, the ‘Jacks also got plenty of help from multiple sources. That includes three ‘Jacks with at least five assists apiece as part of SFA’s 21 total assists against the ‘Cats. Hal Bateman (6), Antonio Bostic (5) and Darius Gardner (5) each had at least five assists, marking the first time an SFA team had three players with at least five dimes in the same game since Feb. 16 1998 when David Henry (6), Tysmon Jolivett (6) and Aaron Radl (5) pulled it off in a three-point loss to Nicholls
HOMEWRECKERS: Of SFA’s six wins away from Johnson Coliseum this season, two of them have stung the opponent deeper than normal. SFA picked up its first road win at UTEP on Nov. 26 with a 53-35 verdict over the Miners, holding UTEP to its lowest point total at home since the school opened up the Don Haskins Center in 1976. Most recently, SFA went to San Marcos and stole a 66-65 win at Texas State, snapping the Bobcats’ 16-game home win streak, which spanned more than a calendar year and was one of the top 10 such streaks in the country.
HAL-UTATIONS: Hal Bateman had scored just four points on four free throws before the final minute of SFA’s win at Texas State, but the junior point guard hit three critical free throws to give SFA its first lead of the game with under a minute to go. Then, after the ‘Cats had retaken the lead, Bateman dribbled the length of the court to hit just his second three-point bucket of the season with 0.5 seconds remaining in the game for a one-point SFA win.
BATTLING BACK: SFA trailed 15-2 just minutes into its game at Texas State, and went into the locker room down 34-27 before battling back to take a 66-65 win at the buzzer. It was the first time this season that SFA has won a game when trailing at the half after previously being 0-7 when behind after 20 minutes of play.
LOW POINT: The 40 points SFA scored against Sam Houston State in last season’s match-up with the Bearkats set a Johnson Coliseum record for fewest points scored by the ’Jacks. The previous record was 41 in a 52-41 loss to Southeastern Louisiana in February of 1995.
KING FOR A NIGHT: After going a perfect 7-for-7 from the field and 5-for-7 from the foul line, Jonathan King finished SFA’s game at Central Arkansas with a career-high 19 points and also matched his season high with eight rebounds for the third time this year. It was a rare feat not only for King, but also SFA, as his night was the first time an SFA player had been perfect from the field with at least seven field goal tries in a game since Ben Hunt was a perfect 10-for-10 from the field at ULM on Jan. 5, 2002. Oddly enough, teammate Taylor Smith did him one better on Saturday vs High Point when he went a perfect 8-for-8 vs the Panthers.
CLAMPING DOWN: SFA held Southeastern Louisiana to just 36 points in its win over the Lions, holding its third opponent of the season under the 40-point mark. It was also the first time since 2008 that SFA has held a Southland opponent under the 40-point plateau, and is the lowest point total by a Southland opponent for the `Jacks in the Danny Kaspar era.
SOUTHLAND OPENERS: In Danny Kaspar’s 12 seasons at SFA, the ‘Jacks are now 6-6 in Southland Conference openers after knocking off 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 now 3-5 under Kaspar in Southland openers away from home. The last time a Lumberjack team had won a league-opening road game was a 2002-03 verdict at former Southland member ULM.
DIVIDE AND CONQUER: Since the Southland Conference began divisional play in 2006-07, SFA has won three of a possible six division championships. The ’Jacks won the Southland West in 2008 and won the East Division title in 2009 and 2010.
CLAMPING DOWN: SFA returned to William R. Johnson Coliseum on Dec. 30 to take a 57-point win over UT-Tyler, holding the Patriots to just 36 points in the victory. The 36 points was the lowest for a Lumberjack opponent since SFA held ULM to 36 points last season, a mark that is the second-lowest defensive showing in the Danny Kaspar era and that was matched less than 10 days later when SFA held Southeastern Louisiana to just 36 points as well. The lowest in the era was when SFA held Huston-Tillotson to just 33 points during the 2007-08 season.
HAVE A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS: The ‘Jacks had 24 assists on 29 made baskets in its 74-48 win over Alabama State. The 24 assists are the most assists by a Lumberjack team in a single game since it had 24 dimes on March 2, 2006 at Sam Houston State. Junior point guard Hal Bateman had eight assists in the game vs the Hornets, marking just the fourth time in the past three seasons SFA has had a player with eight assists in a single game.
HOME NON-CONFERENCE: After knocking off UT-Tyler, SFA has now won 32 of its last 34 home, non-conference games, dating to the 2006-07 season. Before it’s 58-56 loss to Florida International, the only other SFA loss during that stretch was a two-point defeat against Texas Tech in 2009-10. The Lumberjacks are now 61-5, overall, in home, non-conference games in 12 seasons under head coach Danny Kaspar.
KASPAR GETS 200: Danny Kaspar closed out the 2010-11 season just one win shy of 200 for his career at Stephen F. Austin, but it did not take him long to register that win this year as the ‘Jacks got him the win in front of a home crowd with a season-opening, 84-43, win on Friday vs Centenary. He is already third all-time at SFA in head coaching wins, trailing only Marshall Brown (345) and Bob Shelton (245).
BELOW FIFTY: SFA held 10 opponents below 50 points last season, and have held five opponents under 50 this season, most recently allowing just 36 points to Southeastern Louisiana on Jan. 7. In 12 seasons under Danny Kaspar the Lumberjacks have held an opponent to 50 points or fewer on 56 occasions, losing just five of those games.