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    Ladyjack Game Notes: Sam Houston State & Northwestern State
    SFA has a chance for a 10-win league season with a pair of wins this week.
    SFA has a chance for a 10-win league season with a pair of wins this week.

    March 1, 2011

    Sam Houston State & Northwestern State Game Notes

    Stephen F. Austin at Sam Houston State
    Wednesday, March 2, 2011 • 7:00 p.m. (CST)
    Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum ( < 7,203) • Huntsville, Texas
    Radio: Q107.7 FM • TV: None • Online: www.gobearkats.com

    Stephen F. Austin vs Northwestern State
    Saturday, March 5, 2011 • 6:00 p.m. (CST)
    William R. Johnson Coliseum (7,203) • Nacogdoches, Texas
    Radio: Q107.7 FM • TV: None • Online: www.sfajacks.com

    Ladyjacks
    Record:
    111-16, 8-6 SLC
    Last 5/Streak: 3-2/W1
    Coach: Brandon Schneider
    Career: 317-88 (13th season)
    At SFA: 11-16 (1st season)
    SID: Ben Rikard
    E-Mail: rikardbenja@sfasu.edu
    Web: www.sfajacks.com

    Bearkats
    Record:
    15-13, 9-5 SLC
    Last 5/Streak:
    3-2/L2
    Coach:
    Brenda Welch-Nichols
    Career:
    173-251 (16th season)
    At SHSU:
    41-103 (5th season)
    SID:
    Paul Ridings
    E-Mail:
    ridings@shsu.edu
    Web: 
    www.gobearkats.com

    Demons
    Record:
    13-14, 8-6 SLC
    Last 5/Streak:
    3-2/W2
    Coach:
    Jennifer Graf
    Career:
    99-106 (7th season)
    At UTSA:
    Same
    SID:
    Matthew Bonnette
    E-Mail:
    bonnettem@nwla.edu
    Web: 
    www.nsudemons.com

    FOR STARTERS
    The regular season comes to an end this week for the Ladyjacks, and with a berth in the upcoming Southland Conference Tournament secured, now SFA can set its sights on improving its seeding before heading to Katy. With two wins the Ladyjacks would also secure a 10-win campaign in SLC play for the third straight year, and the fifth time in six seasons, in addition to securing tiebreak possibilities with both Sam Houston State and Northwestern State.

    LAST TIME OUT
    Junior guard Tammara Marion became the 25th Ladyjack to hit the 1,000-point plateau, and the second in as many games after Jordan Ford hit 1,000 one game before, in SFA’s 89-78 win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Marion also landed a trio of three-point buckets, giving her SFA’s single-season three-point record with 64 for the year in helping SFA secure a berth in the SLC Tournament.   

    THE BEARKATS
    Sam Houston had won four straight games to take a grasp of the SLC West Division lead, but after consecutive losses last week to Lamar and Northwestern State, the Bearkats find themselves a game out of the SLC West lead with two games to play. Still, with a tourney berth clinched, Sam Houston can even the season series with SFA with a win in Huntsville after SFA took a 70-63 win in Nacogdoches on Jan. 26th.

    THE DEMONS
    Northwestern State has won three of its last four games to move into a tie with the Ladyjacks in the standings with two games remaining. This will be the first meeting between the teams since the Demons eliminated the Ladyjacks in the SLC Tournament last year after the team’s split the season series.

    COVERAGE
    Both games this week can be heard live on Q107.7 FM with Ben Rikard having the call on Wednesday from Huntsville, and James Dixon on the mic for Saturday’s regular-season finale with Northwestern State. Live stats will be available for Wednesday’s game on www.gobearkats.com and Game tracker for Saturday’s on www.sfajacks.com.

    UP NEXT
    The Ladyjacks will begin the Southland Conference Tournament on March 8 at the Merrell Center in Katy with official seeding to be announced following the conclusion of league play on Saturday. The winner of the SLC Tournament takes the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

    MILLENIUM MEMBERS: SFA got to watch on as a pair of Ladyjacks hit career milestones in consecutive games last week as senior Jordan Ford and junior Tammara Marion each went over the 1,000-point marks of their careers last week. They are the 24th and 25th players at SFA to do so for a career with Ford doing so as part of a 16-point effort at Lamar and Marion doing so in a 23-point outing against TAMUCC.

    RECORD WATCHES: Marion also eclipsed another record on Saturday against TAMUCC as her third three-point bucket set a new single-season SFA record with her 64th of 2010-11. That bettered Dayna Reed’s mark of 63 that was set in the 1990-91 season, but it is still Reed who holds the career lead at SFA; however, that mark may not even stand through the end of this season. Marion currently has 165 triples for her career, which is just three back of Kirby Killingsworth for second all-time and just 13 shy of Reed’s career mark.

    Ebony Alexander is also doing her best to try and move up SFA’s all-time rankings in nother category too. She pushed her way into SFA’s all-time top 10 in assists nearly a month ago when she passed Lashinda Winters to crack the top 10. The senior now stands with 405 and is 15 assists away from ninth on the list as former teammate Nikki Carr currently had 420 for her career.

    SENIOR NIGHT FOR SFA: The Ladyjacks will honor its seven-member senior class before Saturday’s finale vs Northwestern State, one that includes Decreasha Goodner, Jordan Ford, Toni Davis, Ebony Alexander, Chantol Drennan, Chelsea Foy and Brittany Hardy. That group has amassed 56 wins in its four years, including a 32-16 record in SLC play entering this weekend. Those numbers include capturing a share of the 2009-10 SLC championship and earning a berth in last year’s WNIT.

    KATY BOUND: SFA’s win against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi guaranteed a spot in the upcoming Southland Conference Tournament for the Ladyjacks, meaning that SFA still has never missed the conference tournament since joining the Southland Conference. Still, SFA’s seed is not secured for Katy as it will be determined in the final two games of the regular season. A pair of wins this week could push the Ladyjacks as high as the No. 4 seed, while they could also enter the tournament as low as the No. 7 overall seed.

    GOODNESS GOODNER: Senior Decreasha Goodner will be one of SFA’s seven-member senior class honored on Saturday and is putting togehter a career year as she bids adieu to her playing career. After averaging just over five points per game in her first three seasons, Goodner has flourished in Brandon Schneider’s system and is averaging 10 points a game with better than five rebounds this season. Much of that has come from an improved touch from beyond the arc as she is hitting at a 33.7 percent clip from distance and has buried 31 threes this year after hitting just 21 in her previous three seasons combined.

    TEAM TRIPLES: Berry was not the only Ladyjack that had success from beyond the arc at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi as SFA hit 12 of 19 three-point tries, a season high this season and just one three short of tying the single-game record at SFA set last year against Lamar. That has helped SFA build the top 3-point percentage in the league in SLC games.

    HALFWAY THERE: Looking at the Ladyjacks’ wins this season, one thing that stands out is that they have led at the half in each of those games. Fifteen times SFA has held the  lead at the break, with it coming out on top in the end 11 of those times. Conversely, the Ladyjacks are 0-12 this season when they go into the locker room behind on the scoreboard.

    SCHNEIDER’S DEBUT SEASON: This season is marking the beginning of a new era in Ladjack basketball as Brandon Schneider is in his debut as SFA’s head coach. Schneider is the eighth head coach in SFA history and comes to Nacogdoches on the heels of a 12-year career and a national title last season at Emporia State University in Kansas. SFA’s loss in his opening game is not an unusual occurence for new Ladyjack coaches as SFA’s previous coaches are now just 2-6 all-time in their debut game; however, with over 300 career wins to his credit.

    SAWYER’S BLOCK PARTY: Through the first nine games of the season the Ladyjacks were ranked in the bottom five teams in the nation in blocked shots, having rejected just seven shots in those nine games with five of those being from junior post Amina Sawyer. But Sawyer earned her first start of the season against Arkansas State and doubled her season total with a career-high five rejections against the Red Wolves. Her presence on the court has sparked SFA in the blocks department overall as well with the Ladyjacks having blocked 47 shots in the 18 games since she entered the starting lineup, 36 of which are from Sawyer.

    COUNT ON THE LONGBALL: SFA has made a three-point bucket in each of its last 57 games dating back to March 7, 2009, against UTSA when SFA went 0-for-14 from distance in a 65-51 loss to the ‘Runners. In fact, in that 57-game streak, SFA has hit multiple threes in every contest.

    HELP ON THE WAY: Head coach Brandon Schneider and his coaching staff have been hard on the recruiting trail since their arrival, and the fruits of their labor are beginning to be revealed. SFA’s incoming recruiting class was recently ranked 35th in the nation by Collegiate Girls Basketball Report. The class includes a pair of Division I transfers currently sitting out this season due to NCAA transfer rules - Ashlee Mells (Indiana) and Annette Davis (Kansas) - and five incoming freshmen. Four of the incoming freshmen - Kyaris Johnson (Mansfield Legacy HS), Ashley Bettis (Channelview HS), Daylyn Harris (Livingston HS) and Tierany Henderson (Austin LBJ) - were all recently nominated for McDonald’s all-America honors, while the fifth member - Brittney Matthew (Hightower HS) - is the starting point guard for the No. 9 team in Texas’ Class 5A.

      COMING SOON