NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks ended their 5-game homestand last weekend with the opening of Southland Conference play and went 5-0 during that span. They will now take that winning streak on the road to Houston Baptist and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi this week. The Ladyjacks are set to take on the Huskies at 5 p.m. Thursday and then face the Islanders at 4 p.m. Saturday.
SFA’s winning streak marks the first time the team has won five straight games since Feb. 11-25, 2012.
The Ladyjacks are coming off an impressive streak of dominant wins. SFA opened conference play 2-0 with an average margin of victory over Lamar and Sam Houston State of 25.5 points. SFA never trailed against defending conference champ Sam Houston on Saturday in an 89-59 victory.
Series History · SFA leads the all-time series with HBU 4-0.
· SFA leads the all-time series with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 13-2.
Scouting Houston Baptist · The Huskies are led by Shanice Steenholdt with 18.1 points per game. The forward also is pulling down 9.3 rebounds to nearly average a double-double on the year. In the conference opener against Oral Roberts, Steenholdt posted 32 points on 13-of-21 shooting to go with 13 rebounds.
· Houston Baptist has the highest shooting percentage in the Southland Conference. The Huskies are shooting 42.7 percent on the year aided by Steenholdt’s 51.4 percent, which ranks 5th individually.
· The Huskies are 4-9 on the year and lost both games last week to open conference play. HBU is 3-1 at home this year while struggling on the road to just a 1-8 record.
Scouting Texas A&M-Corpus Christi · The Islanders are led in scoring by Jasmine Shaw with 16.5 points per game. She is a threat from long range having hit more than 40 percent of her 3-pointers. Shaw also is the top free-throw shooter in the league with an 88.4 percent clip. She also leads the league in 3-pointers made per game.
· The Islanders are the No. 2 defense in the league allowing 63.4 points per game. That defensive effort is helping A&M-Corpus Christi also rank No. 2 in the Southland in rebounding margin at +3.2.
· TAMU-CC is 8-5 on the year after splitting its two games to open league play last week. The Islanders fell at Central Arkansas in a tight battle 66-62 and followed that with a win at defending Southland Conference champion Oral Roberts in another close game 58-53.
Catching Up with SFA · SFA leads the Southland Conference in blocked shots per game with an average of 4.9. That mark is more than a full block more than the No. 2 team in the conference and is currently tied for No. 31 in the nation. The Ladyjacks have posted 5 or more blocks 8 times this season. Against Arizona and Texas A&M-Commerce, the Ladyjacks swatted 8 blocks, which stands as the most in the Southland this season. The next best mark also belongs to SFA, with 7 blocks against Henderson State.
· One reason why SFA is blocking so many balls again is junior center Porsha Roberts. Roberts is averaging 2.43 per game with 34 and is on pace for one of the best seasons in school history. At her current pace, Roberts could even break the career record at SFA before the end of the season. She is 30th in the nation in blocks per game heading into Thursday’s action. Roberts also is posting 15.9 points per game to rank 6th in the Southland. Her 4.3 offensive rebounds lead the conference. Roberts also recently scored her 1,000th career point.
· SFA is ranked No. 2 in the Southland in scoring offense, averaging 72.2 points per game. The Ladyjacks trail Abilene Christian’s 74.9 points. SFA scored 101 points in its final nonconference contest against Texas A&M-Commerce to help boost its scoring average. It marked the first time since Feb. 2, 2000, that the Ladyjacks scored 100 or more points. It was the 43rd game in school history where the Ladyjacks reached the 100-point plateau.
· The Ladyjacks are one a 5-game winning streak. It marks the first time since Feb. 11-25, 2012, that SFA has won 5 straight. During that span, the Ladyjacks are winning with an average margin of victory of 29.2 points. In conference play, the margin is 25.5. The closest margin during the winning streak was 16 points against Henderson State.
· Freshman guard Taylor Ross has made an impact on SFA’s offense early this season. The newcomer leads the team in assists despite her limited time of running the point behind junior Brittney Matthew. Ross is averaging 3.3 assists per game and ranks 12th in the conference. She posted a career-high of 6 assists in the win over Grambling State and matched it in the conference opener against Lamar. Ross has posted at least 2 assists in every game this year except against Henderson State and reached 4 or more 5 times. Ross also has the No. 1 assist-turnover ratio in the league at 2.3. She is the only freshman in the league to be in the top 14 in assist-to-turnover, with 8 seniors on the list.
· Junior point guard Brittney Matthew posted a career-high 24 points in the win over Henderson State recently. Matthew was 10-of-14 from the field and added 5 assists to go with just 1 turnover. This season, Matthew ranks 14th in assists with 3.0 per game. With her and Taylor Ross’ 3.3 per game, it gives SFA 2 players in the Top 15 in the league. Matthew also is among the top free-throw shooters in the league at 78.8 percent. She ranks 8th in the league. Over the last 4 games, Matthew is averaging 18.3 points.
· The Ladyjacks were chosen as the favorite to win the Southland Conference this season by the league’s coaches and sports information directors. SFA received 7 of the 12 first-place votes in both polls and was picked ahead of Oral Roberts. The Ladyjacks also had 2 players chosen to the Preseason All-Conference Teams. Porsha Roberts was a selection on the first team while Antionette Carter was voted to the second.
Ladyjacks Sneak By Islanders On Senior Day
The Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks basketball team closed the 2012-13 regular season in winning fashion on Saturday with a 58-52 victory over the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders on Senior Night at William R. Johnson Coliseum.