ORU Spoils Ladyjacks Hot Shooting
Despite four players scoring in double-figures and tying a season-high in field goal percentage and three-point makes, the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks were unable to slow down the dynamic duo of Kevi Luper (30 points) and Jaci Bigham (26 points) in a 68-64 loss to the Golden Eagles Saturday afternoon at William R. Johnson Coliseum.
Ladyjacks Bounce Sugar Bears, 64-59
The No. 7 Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks led buzzer-to-buzzer in a thrilling 64-59 victory over the No. 6 Central Arkansas Sugar Bears in the first round of the Southland Conference Tournament at the Merrell Center Wednesday afternoon.
Game 19 SFA at Central Arkansas Date: Jan. 25, 2 p.m. Site: Farris Center (5,000) Live Stats | Live Stream
Team Information Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks (10-7, 4-1 SLC) Head Coach: Brandon Schneider (Wayland Baptist, 1995) Career Record: 365-124 (16th season), Record at SFA: 59-52 (4th season)
Oral Roberts Golden Eagles (3-12, 2-3 SLC) Head Coach: Misti Cussen (Southern Nazarene ‘93) Career Record: 21-25 (2nd season)
Central Arkansas Sugar Bears (10-6, 4-1 SLC) Head Coach: Sandra Rushing (Alabama ’86) Career Record: 428-266 (25th season), Record at UCA: 15-15 (2nd season)
Radio: Q 107.7 FM Twitter: @SFA_WBB
NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Stephen F. Austin women’s basketball team concludes its five-game road stint this week with trips to Oral Roberts and Central Arkansas. The Ladyjacks are set to take on Oral Roberts at 5 p.m. Thursday before facing the Sugar Bears at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Thursday’s game at Oral Roberts will be webcast on espn3.com. Both the men’s and women’s games against ORU will be webcast with Lyn Rollins on play-by-play and Jim Haller providing color commentary. The Southland Conference’s Chris Mycoskie will host the halftime show.
The Ladyjacks are coming off their first loss in Southland Conference play after falling at Northwestern State 66-54 last week. SFA is currently tied atop the conference standings with Central Arkansas with a 4-1 record in league games. Central Arkansas’ loss came to Oral Roberts.
Saturday’s game at Central Arkansas will be available for free online at ucasports.com/showcase.
Series History · SFA trails the all-time series with Oral Roberts 3-1. The Golden Eagles won both meetings last season.
· SFA leads the all-time series with Central Arkansas 7-2. The Ladyjacks have won the first 6 contests, but the Sugar Bears have won 2 of the last 3 meetings, including both in 2011.
Scouting Oral Roberts · The Golden Eagles have 2 players averaging double digits this season led by Christian Key with 13.7 points per game. Her average in league play is 14.6 after she posted 22 points at Abilene Christian and 20 points at Incarnate Word last week.
· Dorrottya Balla is ORU’s No. 2 scorer with 10.7 points. Her average increases to 14.0 in Southland Conference games.
· Sarah Shelton ranks 8th in the Southland in rebounding, pulling down 7.9 per game. Despite her ranking 8th individually, the Golden Eagles rank next to last as a team with 34.3 rebounds per game.
· ORU is winless on the road this season and are 3-3 at home. The Golden Eagles have defeated conference foes Houston Baptist and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at home.
Scouting Central Arkansas · The Sugar Bears find themselves tied with SFA atop the Southland Conference standings three weeks into league play. UCA’s lone loss in conference play came on the road to Oral Roberts.
· Central Arkansas is led by Courtney Duever with 16.6 points per game in conference play. She also is the team’s top rebounder with 10.4 boards. Duever is 2nd in the league in rebounds and 1st in blocks in conference games only. She averages 2.6 blocks per game. Duever is 1 of only 2 players in the Southland to be averaging a double-double in league play.
· The Sugar Bears have the top defense in the league in terms of points scored. UCA opponents are averaging just 58.1 points per game. Part of that is due to UCA’s ability to crash the boards and deny opponents second chance points. The Sugar Bears are tops in the league in rebounding defense and rebounding margin.
Catching Up with SFA · The Ladyjacks had their 7-game winning streak snapped last week at Northwestern State. It marked the first time since Nov. 11-Dec. 3, 2011, that SFA had won 7 straight. During that span, the Ladyjacks are winning with an average margin of victory of 23.4 points. In conference play, the margin is 17.25. The closest margin during the winning streak was 7 points at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Saturday.
· SFA leads the Southland Conference in blocked shots per game overall with an average of 4.6 and is third in league play at 3.6. The 4.6 mark is more than a full block more than the No. 2 team in the conference and is currently tied for No. 42 in the nation. The Ladyjacks have posted 5 or more blocks 9 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 2.18 per game with 37 and is on pace for one of the best seasons in school history. At her current pace, Roberts would come up just short of the career record at SFA before the end of the regular season. She is 39th in the nation in blocks per game heading into Thursday’s action. Roberts also is posting 15.2 points per game to rank 7th in the Southland overall. Her 4.2 offensive rebounds lead the conference.
· Roberts also cracked the 1,000 point mark last week at Northwestern State. The forward posted 17 points in the loss and finished the game with 1,009 career points scored.
· The Ladyjacks are currently 2nd in the Southland in scoring defense in league play, allowing 55.8 points per game thanks to SFA’s opponent shooting percentage of 34.9 that leads the Southland. SFA has allowed conference opponents to score more than 60 points only once. The Ladyjacks are 9-2 this season when allowing 60 or fewer points.
· The Ladyjacks’ win over Houston Baptist earlier this month was win No. 950 in Ladyjack history. The Ladyjacks are among the winningest programs in NCAA history with 951 total wins since the program’s start in 1969 to rank 5th all-time. SFA is the winningest program in the state of Texas, surpassing traditional powerhouses Texas and Texas Tech along with current power Baylor. Only two programs have won more than 1,000 games, and SFA is trying to become the third joining Tennessee and Louisiana Tech. James Madison and Old Dominion are currently ahead of SFA on the list with Texas close behind the Ladyjacks in all-time wins.
· 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.