Feb. 13, 2014
BEAUMONT, Texas – It was a tight battle on the road and the Ladyjacks came up just short at Lamar on Thursday night after the Cardinals scored in transition with less than 20 seconds to go in the game and Stephen F. Austin could not answer at the buzzer.
Porsha Roberts posted her seventh double-double of the season with 21 points and a career-high 19 rebounds. Tierany Henderson had a solid performance shooting from beyond the arc as she nailed four 3-pointers on the night and tallied 14 points overall.
Freshman Brentney Branch also had a career night with 13 points. She was 3-of-5 from beyond the arc and added six rebounds.
After the first half was a series of runs by both teams, the second half was a tight battle all the way through with the largest lead being only seven points during the period. SFA (13-11, 7-5 SLC) trailed by four points with 2:34 left and was able to shut down the Cardinals (14-9, 9-3) and tie it up with 1:15 on a pair of free throws by Roberts.
A block by Roberts denied the Cardinals from taking the lead with just under 50 seconds remaining. That followed by a turnover by Kali Jerrell, but another defensive stop by the Ladyjacks gave them an opportunity to go up with less than 20 seconds to go.
A shot by Roberts after posting up on the block went around the rim and Lamar scored a quick basket in transition to go up 75-73 with 17 seconds to go. Henderson was unable to hit a 3-pointer from the corner to take the lead, and Branch missed a short jumper on the rebound. Lamar pulled down the rebound after Branch’s miss and ran out the final two seconds of the clock for the victory.
Thursday’s loss for SFA had implications in the Southland Conference standings as the league leader Central Arkansas fell on the road to drop to 9-3, creating a tie for first with Lamar. SFA remains in third place two games behind UCA.
Lamar (14-9, 9-3) was led by Gia Ayers with 30 points after only scoring six against SFA earlier this season. JaMeisha Edwards added 13 points and Kiandra Bowers tallied 12.
SFA took the loss despite dominating the boards with 52 rebounds to Lamar’s 32 as turnovers again plagued the Ladyjacks. SFA’s 23 miscues resulted in 33 points by the Cardinals. Lamar only committed eight turnovers that led to eight points for SFA.
The first half was all about runs as the Cardinals built a 9-point lead after going on an 8-0 run. The Ladyjacks responded with an 11-3 run of their own to pull within a point, only to see Lamar go on another 8-0 run after calling a timeout to go up 28-19 with 7:37 left in the period.
SFA again answered with a 10-1 run to tie it up at 29 points apiece as Henderson and Branch both got hot from beyond arc. That run by SFA would extend to a 16-3 run to take a 35-31 lead before Lamar would chip away and pull within a point at the break.
Branch and Henderson led the Ladyjacks with eight points in the first half. Branch hit 2-of-3 from deep and Henderson was 2-of-5. Roberts and Antionette Carter also made their presence felt in the opening stanza as they each scored six points. Roberts was a force in the paint with nine rebounds.
The Ladyjacks head to Huntsville on Saturday for a matchup with rival Sam Houston State at 1:30 p.m. SFA bested the Bearkats 89-59 in their previous meeting this season in Nacogdoches.