Game 29 Oral Roberts at SFA Date: March 6, 6 p.m. Site: William R. Johnson Coliseum (7,203) Live Stats | Live Stream
Game 30 Central Arkansas at SFA Date: March 8, 4 p.m. Site: William R. Johnson Coliseum (7,203) ESPN3.com Live Stats | Live Stream
Team Information Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks (17-11, 11-5 SLC) Head Coach: Brandon Schneider (Wayland Baptist, 1995) Career Record: 372-128 (16th season), Record at SFA: 66-56 (4th season)
Oral Roberts Golden Eagles (9-17, 8-8 SLC) Head Coach: Misti Cussen (Southern Nazarene ‘93) Career Record: 27-30 (7th season), Record at ORU: Same
Central Arkansas Sugar Bears (18-9, 12-4 SLC) Head Coach: Sandra Rushing (Alabama ‘86) Career Record: 436-279 (25th season), Record at UCA: 33-24 (2nd season)
Radio: Q 107.7 FM Twitter: @SFA_WBB
NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks come into the final week of the regular season with a chance to win the Southland Conference title on the line. The Ladyjacks (17-11, 11-5 SLC) are currently one game behind Central Arkansas (18-9, 12-4), and the Sugar Bears come to William R. Johnson Coliseum on Saturday. SFA takes on Oral Roberts (9-17, 8-8) on Thursday night at home looking to keep pace and stay in the hunt for the title. SFA faces the Golden Eagles at 6 p.m. Thursday and tangles with the Sugar Bears at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Every game this week in the Southland Conference has implications on the postseason. Three spots are still up for grabs to qualify for the Southland Conference Tournament in Katy next week, and there is a mathematical possibility of a five-way tie for the regular season title. Wins will be at a premium this week as teams jockey for seeding position at the conference tournament and the potential to win the title.
SFA looks to avenge losses earlier in the season to both Oral Roberts and Central Arkansas. The Ladyjacks lost on the road to ORU 64-55 and at UCA 65-42. Those were the first games the Ladyjacks played without starting point guard Brittney Matthew. SFA has gone 7-2 since those initial losses.
Promotions · SFA Athletics in conjunction with Tipton Ford will give 1 lucky fan an opportunity to drive away from Thursday’s games in a new car. Fans can sign up at the game for the contest to possibly win a new Ford Fiesta during the men’s game.
· Thursday’s game will be the annual Ladyjack Academic Shootout. Fans can register at the game to donate based
· The first 500 fans to the game Thursday will receive a free pair of SFA sunglasses.
· The Purple Haze Association is sponsoring “Johnson Jam” and will be giving free tank tops to students.
· Fans can get autographs from some of their favorite SFA student-athletes as well. The women’s softball team will be signing autographs on the concourse at the coliseum during the women’s game, and members of the track and field teams will sign autographs during the men’s game Thursday.
Scouting the Golden Eagles · ORU is coming off its largest win of the season in league play following an 80-50 victory over Sam Houston State on Senior Day, although freshmen stole the show. Kaylan Mayberry and Dorottya Bella each scored 17 points in the win.
· Senior Christian Key leads ORU in scoring this season with 14.8 points per game in conference play. Key posted 24 points against SFA earlier this season. She is shooting 39.7 percent from beyond the arc in conference play to rank among the best shooters in the Southland. She has scored 20 or more points 4 times in conference play.
· Freshman Kaylan Mayberry is among the top 3-point shooters in the Southland this season. She is averaging 1.6 made 3-pointers per game but ranks 4th in the league in percentage at 42.6 percent. She has scored at least 20 points 4 times this season.
· ORU is winless on the road this season. The Golden Eagles are 0-14 heading into this week’s action at SFA and Northwestern State. ORU is losing by an average of 18.5 points per game on the road. The Golden Eagles’ last 3 road games, however, have all been decided by single digits.
Scouting the Sugar Bears · Central Arkansas currently leads the Southland Conference standings with a 1-game lead over SFA and Lamar heading into the final 2 games of the regular season.
· Courtney Duever leads the Sugar Bears in both scoring and rebounding this season with 17.6 points per game and 10.1 boards in conference play. She is tied with 2 other players with a total of 9 double-doubles in league games. Against SFA earlier this year Duever tallied 25 points and 11 rebounds on 9-of-19 shooting and 7-of-9 on free throws.
· Saturday’s game will be a clash of the top 2 defenses in the Southland. UCA leads the league in limiting opponents to just 53.8 points per game in conference play. Conference opponents have only scored 60 more points on UCA in 5 games this season. Overall, UCA is 14-3 this season when holding opponents to 60 or fewer points.
Catching Up with SFA · The Ladyjacks are currently 2nd in the Southland in scoring defense in league play, allowing 58.9 points per game thanks to SFA’s opponent shooting percentage of 37.0 that ranks 1st in the Southland. SFA has allowed conference opponents to score more than 60 points just 6 times, including a double-overtime game. Overall, the Ladyjacks are 15-2 this season when allowing 60 or fewer points and are undefeated in conference play in those contests at 10-0.
· SFA has allowed an average of 54.4 points in its 11 conference victories.
· SFA is 2nd in the Southland Conference in blocked shots per game with an average of 4.0 in league play after posting 11 total last week at New Orleans and Southeastern Louisiana last week. The Ladyjacks have posted 5 or more blocks 14 times this season, including 5 of the last 9 games. The Ladyjacks are 10-4 in those contests. Overall SFA is 49th in the nation with 4.4 blocks per game.
· One reason why SFA is blocking so many balls again is junior center Porsha Roberts. Roberts is averaging 2.0 per game overall to rank 2nd in the conference with 56 total 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. Entering the week she is 48th in the nation in blocks per game. In league play, Roberts ranks 5th with 1.6 blocks per game.
· Porsha Roberts cracked the 1,000-point mark in January at Northwestern State. The forward posted 17 points in the loss and finished the game with 1,009 career points scored. She leads the team with 15.9 points per game overall and is shooting 56.9 percent on the year to rank 16th in the NCAA. In league play, Roberts is averaging 16.2 points and is leads the league in shooting percentage at 59.9.
· Freshman Brentney Branch has got hot for the Ladyjacks late in the season. She has scored in double digits in 3 of the last 5 contests, including a career-high 13 against Northwestern State at home. Branch has been hitting from beyond the arc to the tune of 50 percent and leads the Southland in 3-point percentage.
· 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 958 total wins since the program’s start in 1969 to rank 5th all-time. SFA is the winningest program in the state of Texas, ahead 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.
· SFA held New Orleans to only 36 points last week. It was the first time since holding Southeastern Louisiana to 38 points last season the Ladyjacks kept their opponent under 40 points. SFA is 15-2 this year when holding opponents to 60 or fewer points.
· The Ladyjacks play well at home thanks to their fans creating a true homecourt advantage. SFA leads the Southland in attendance with an average of 1694 fans at conference games and is 6-1 in those games.
· SFA has been a hard team to come from behind and defeat. The Ladyjacks are 14-0 this season when leading with 5 minutes remaining in regulation.
The Last Meeting
January 23, 2014
Roberts' Double-Double Not Enough at ORU
Porsha Roberts posted her sixth game of the season with at least 20 points while posting her fifth double-double, but it was not enough Thursday night as the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks fell on the road to Oral Roberts by the final score of 64-55. SFA dominated the glass again but could not come away with the road victory for the second straight game after out-rebounding its opponent.