Dec. 30, 2009
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin Ladyjack basketball team was unable to overcome a 21-of-36 (.583) performance at the free throw line Wednesday night falling to Maine, 84-87, in the final game of the UTSA New Year's Classic. The loss drops SFA to 5-5 (.500) on the season.
"I'm very disappointed with our effort tonight," said head coach Lee Ann Riley. "After last night, I really thought we would come out focused and ready to play. The intensity, defensively, just wasn't there tonight like it has been. In a close game, you have to make your opportunities at the free throw line and we did not do that tonight."
The two teams switched roles at the Convocation Center. SFA enter the game shooting better than 75 percent from the charity stripe, while Maine was only a 66 percent free throw shooting team. The Black Bears finished the game 37-of-49 (.755) from the stripe.
The Ladyjacks got out to a much better start offensively in the second night of the UTSA New Year's Classic. SFA connected on 15-of-29 (517) shots in the opening 20 minutes, but the Black Bears were able to keep pace knocking down 14-of-32 (.438) shots. Both teams were hot from beyond the arc, SFA connected on 6-of-13 (.462), while Maine was 4-of-6 (.571).
The one area the Ladyjacks struggled in the first half was at the free throw line. SFA entered the game knocking down 75 percent of its opportunities, but the Ladyjacks could only connect on 7-of-18 (.375).
Both squads turned the ball over 12 times in the first half but SFA was unable to make Maine pay for their mistakes. Maine converted SFA's 12 turnovers into 17 points, while the Ladyjacks could only manage seven points from the Black Bears mistakes.
After a hot start from the floor, SFA cooled off in the second half. The Ladyjacks were 13-of-45 (.289) from the floor, and hit only one three in the final 20 minutes. SFA finished the game 28-of-74 (.378), while Maine was 22-of-56 (.755).
The Black Bears pushed their lead to double-digits behind five players in double figures. But similar to the night before, SFA made a run late in the contest. Trailing by only two points Maine's Brittany Williams missed a free throw, but SFA was unable to come up with the rebound. UM's Samantha Barinowski got the rebound and was fouled, hitting one free throw for the final score.
The Ladyjacks finished the game with four players in double figures led by junior Jordan Ford's 16 points and 11 rebounds. Classmate Toni Davis led SFA with 14 points and five rebounds in the first half, but took an elbow to the eye just before the break and was unable to return. Sophomore Courtney Conwright scored 13, and senior Whitney Cormier added 11.
The Black Bears were led by Samantha Wheeler's 18 points and 13 rebounds. Maine's Kristin Baker added 17 points, on 4-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc.
The Ladyjacks return to action when they open the New Year Jan. 4th against Tulsa. The game against Golden Hurricane is slated to begin at 7 p.m. from the Reynolds Center.