Team Information Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks (22-12) Head Coach: Brandon Schneider (Wayland Baptist, 1995) Career Record: 377-129 (16th season), Record at SFA: 71-57 (4th season)
College of Charleston Cougars (19-14) Head Coach: Natasha Adair (South Florida, ‘94) Career Record: 35-30 (2nd season), Record at CofC: Same
NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks travel to South Carolina this week to take on College of Charleston in the semifinals of the Women’s Basketball Invitational at 6 p.m. central on Thursday. SFA will be looking to be the first team in Ladyjack history to win three postseason tournament games.
The Ladyjacks advanced to the semifinals after dominating Boise State in the second half on Saturday night in an 80-59 win. SFA outscored Boise State 49-25 in the second half, shooting over 50 percent from the field while limiting the Broncos to 31.3 percent. The Ladyjacks trailed at halftime 34-31 and closed that gap quickly after the break.
Saturday’s win over Boise State marks the second time in school history the Ladyjacks have posted two wins in a postseason elimination style tournament. The last time SFA won two contests in the postseason was the 1996 NCAA Tournament.
Porsha Roberts became the greatest shot blocker in SFA history in Saturday’s win over Boise State. Her two blocks brought her career total to 175 to tie for the all-time lead in Ladyjacks history. She is tied with Amy Collins and has another year of eligibility left. Roberts is averaging 2.03 blocks per game overall to rank second in the conference and 46th in the NCAA. Her 69 blocks rank second in school history for a season as well.
The Ladyjacks posted their first postseason win since 2000 with their win over Texas State. SFA’s last victory in a postseason tournament was in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 2000 against Xavier in Baton Rouge, La.
This is SFA’s 28th postseason appearance in program history with 18 NCAA Tournaments, three WNITs, five AIAW Tournaments and now two appearances in the WBI.
SFA’s win over Texas State in the opening round of the WBI was Head Coach Brandon Schneider’s 70th win at the helm of the Ladyjacks. He currently ranks 5th in SFA history in wins and has amassed 377 wins in his career as a head coach at the NCAA Division I and Division II levels.
Scouting the Cougars * College of Charleston advanced to the semifinals by defeating the No. 3-seed Northern Kentucky 60-54 at home on Saturday. The Cougars defeated USC Upstate in the first round 85-71.
* The Cougars went 9-7 in the Colonial Athletic Association to finish 3rd behind James Madison and Delaware. Charleston lost to Delaware in the semifinals of the CAA Championship.
* Charleston has 2 players averaging double figures with Alyssa Frye and Afreyea Tolbert each scoring 14.2 points per game for the Cougars. In the WBI, Frye is averaging 16.5 and Tolbert is at 10.5.
* The Cougars have a shot blocking threat inside with Mikela Hopkins. Her season total is 61, and she has rejected 5 shots during the WBI already.
Catching Up with SFA * The Ladyjacks are allowing only 60.8 points per game this season. In league play they allowed 57.6 points to rank 2nd. SFA is 20-2 when holding opponents to 60 points or less. Conversely, SFA is 19-5 this season when scoring 60 or more points.
* SFA has been tremendous at protecting leads all season. The Ladyjacks are an impressive 20-2 when leading with 10 minutes left in a game and an undefeated 19-0 when leading their opponent with 5 minutes left in regulation.
* The Ladyjacks clinched their 16th Southland Conference regular season title in the last game of the regular season with a win over Central Arkansas to share the crown with Lamar. SFA bested UCA 61-41 and held the Sugar Bears to their lowest first-half scoring with only 15 points. No current member of the Southland has more than 3 conference titles. Louisiana-Monroe won 5 conference championships while a member of the Southland.
* SFA’s opponent shooting percentage of 37.4 ranks 1st in the Southland. The Ladyjacks allowed conference opponents to score more than 60 points just 7 times, including the championship game of the Southland Conference Tournament and a double-overtime loss to Nicholls State. Overall, the Ladyjacks are 20-2 this season when allowing 60 or fewer points and went undefeated against Southland teams in those contests at 13-0.
* Porsha Roberts was named Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Year. The junior center averaged 8.2 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game this season in league play. It is her 2nd major award after being named SLC Freshman of the Year in 2011-12.
* Porsha Roberts also was named All-Southland Conference First Team. She scored 16.8 points per game in league play to rank 5th and was 3rd in shooting percentage at 58.7. She closed the season with back-to-back performances of 20 or more points performances and 4 blocks.
* Tierany Henderson was named All-Southland Conference Honorable Mention. The junior forward was among the league’s top rebounders and shooters. Henderson pulled down 7.1 rebounds in league games and ranked 5th in 3-pointers made.
* In addition to being among the top players in the Southland Conference this season, Tierany Henderson is moving into elite company in SFA history as a 3-point shooter. Henderson has hit 69 shots beyond the arc this season to rank 2nd all-time in SFA history for a season. Her 147 made 3’s for her career rank 5th in SFA history, and with another year of eligibility left Henderson could become only the 2nd Ladyjack to make 200 3-pointers for her career.
* SFA is 14-3 at home this season. Those three losses are by an average of 6.7 points with a 12-point loss to an SMU team that was receiving votes in the USA Today Coaches Poll at the time. The other home losses were by Stetson by 7 points in the Preseason WNIT and to Nicholls State by 1 point in double-overtime.
* The Ladyjacks led the Southland Conference in blocked shots per game this season with an average of 4.4 overall. SFA was 2nd in league play at 4.2 per game. This season the Ladyjacks have posted 5 or more blocks 18 times, including 9 of the last 15 games. The Ladyjacks are 14-4 in those contests. Overall SFA is 50th in the nation with 4.4 blocks per game.
* 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 963 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 2 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. Every team but Louisiana Tech is still alive in the postseason.