Sept. 6, 2007
NACOGDOCHES, Texas -
Two Big 12 opponents and three games against 2007 NCAA Tournament qualifiers highlight the 2007-08 Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack basketball schedule, announced Thursday by head coach Danny Kaspar. The 29-game schedule includes road trips to Texas Tech and Oklahoma of the Big 12 Conference, as well as a home-and-home set against Jackson State, an NCAA Championship qualifier last season.
SFA will enjoy 14 home games, six of which are against non-conference opponents. Five of the Lumberjacks' Division I non-conference opponents finished 2006-07 with an RPI in the Top 200.
Following an exhibition game against Abilene Christian on Nov. 5, the Lumberjacks open the regular season with consecutive home games, first taking on UT-Tyler on Nov. 9, then hosting Jackson State on the 13. Jackson State went 21-14 last season with a 12-6 record in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. The Tigers finished second in the SWAC and earned a bid to the NCAA Championships by winning the conference's postseason tournament. Jackson State bowed out in the first round against eventual national champion Florida.
On Nov. 17, SFA will head west for a tilt with Texas Tech -- perhaps the toughest opponent of the season. The Red Raiders went 21-13 last season and finished fifth in the Big 12, earning an invitation to the NCAA Tournament. Texas Tech was defeated in the first round by Boston College and finished the season with an RPI ranking of 61.
The 'Jacks follow that trip with a home game against former Southland Conference foe Louisiana-Monroe on Nov. 20. The Warhawks posted an 18-14 mark in 2006-07 with an 11-7 showing in Sun Belt Conference play. That record was good enough to take the Sun Belt West Division Championship.
On Nov. 24, SFA will meet Northern Illinois on the road in a return game from last season, when the Lumberjacks defeated the Huskies, 86-78, in Nacogdoches. SFA will stay on the road for its second game of the year against Jackson State the following week before returning home on Dec. 4 to host Southern, another SWAC team.
On Dec. 8, SFA will travel to Norman, Okla., to take on Oklahoma. The Sooners had a down year last season, finishing ninth in the Big 12 with an overall record of 16-15; however Oklahoma still earned a season-ending RPI of 104.
This marks the first time since the 1999-2000 season that the Lumberjacks have met two Big 12 opponents in the same season. That year, SFA squared off with Texas A&M and Texas Tech. This season's match-up with Texas Tech will be the Lumberjacks' first since the 2000-01 season, Kaspar's first season as head coach. SFA has not played Oklahoma since the teams' initial meeting in 1980.
The 'Jacks will make a West Coast trip on Dec. 15 to take on San Diego. SFA defeated the Toreros in the season opener last season, and San Diego went on to post an 18-14 record.
SFA will host NAIA school Huston-Tillotson on Dec. 21, then head to Dallas for two games in the SMU Holiday Classic. The Lumberjacks will tip off the event on Dec. 29 against SMU, then take on Paul Quinn on the 30.
The Lumberjacks will open the new year on Jan. 5 with a home game against Wiley College of the NAIA Red River Athletic Conference. SFA begins Southland Conference play five days later with the Cajun Corner road trip to kick off four straight games against SLC East Division foes.
Highlights of the SLC slate include a game at Sam Houston State on Jan. 24 and a home game against the Bearkats on Feb. 21. The Lumberjacks host 2007 SLC champion Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on March 5, before wrapping up the regular season with a road game against Texas-San Antonio on March 8. The Southland Conference Tournament will kick off on March 13 at the Leonard E. Merrell Center in Katy, Texas.
-- SFA --