Top 25 Moments of 2012-13 - No. 5
July 29, 2013
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Now that the school year is over, and before we begin the 2013-14 academic year, SFA athletics wanted to take a look back at the Top 25 Moments from the 2012-13 season.
After a grueling loss to Northwestern State in the Southland Conference Tournament title game, the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack basketball quickly turned their attention towards the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) and a quick turnaround to Palo Alto, CA for a showdown with the Stanford Cardinal.
SFA (27-5), who was the No. 5 seed in the region, nearly pulled off the upset but Desmond Haymon's jumper just before the buzzer fell short and the Cardinal put an end to one of the most historic seasons in SFA history by escaping the Lumberjacks, 58-57 at Maples Pavilion.
The game, which was aired on ESPN2, was SFA's second ever appearance in the NIT and was a program-best 11th televised game this year and featured seven lead changes. The `Jacks held a 32-31 lead at the half, and closed the game scoring seven of the game's final 10 points, but despite making one more field goal than the Cardinal and canning 10 of 12 foul shots, Stanford's seven triples was just too much.
Taylor Smith was nearly unstoppable in the game's opening minutes and finished with a game-high 18 points on seven of nine shooting from the floor to go with seven boards and a block.
Antonio Bostic added 15 points, including six points in the second half before leaving late in the game with a shoulder injury, and Hal Bateman had 12 points and seven dimes, hitting all six of his foul shots.
All was not lost on this March 20 night on the West Coast. Despite another heartbreaking loss for the 'Jacks, a national audience on ESPN2 was treated to not only a scrappy effort from an undersized SFA team, but also heard the pouring admiration from NBA Hall of Famer and color commentator Bill Walton.
The UCLA legend had nothing but glowing remarks for the 'Jacks and the Southland Conference and left many to believe it was an SFA broadcast. Below are just a few of Walton's one-liners that stood out.
(On Taylor Smith)
(On Stephen F. Austin)
(On a Taylor Smith dunk)
(On Nacogdoches, Texas)
(As SFA kept the ball game close late)
Keep checking back with sfajacks.com for more SFA Top 25 Moments.