Game 36 SFA at UI-Chicago Date: 3 p.m. March 29, 3014 Live Stats | Live Video Twitter: @SFA_WBB Radio: Q107.7 FM
Team Information Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks (23-12) Head Coach: Brandon Schneider (Wayland Baptist, '95) Career Record: 378-129 (16th season), Record at SFA: 72-57 (4th season)
Illinois-Chicago Flames (25-9) Head Coach: Regina Miller (Old Dominion, '84) Career Record: 287-269 (19th season), Record at UIC: 52-43 (3rd season)
CHICAGO -- The Stephen F. Austin women's basketball team looks to make history on Saturday afternoon as the Ladyjacks play for a chance to win the program’s first postseason tournament against Illinois-Chicago (25-9). Tip for the championship game of the Women’s Basketball Invitational is set for 3 p.m. from Chicago.
The Ladyjacks reached the championship game by defeating College of Charleston on the road Thursday night in what looked to be a runaway win but turned into a nail biter in the end. SFA won 78-74 with another 20-point performance by Porsha Roberts.
SFA (23-12) was hot from beyond the arc, hitting 8-of-14 shots from long range. Hitting 6-of-10 in the first half and closing the first 20 minutes on a 6-1 run helped the Ladyjacks take the momentum into the break. SFA then opened the second half with a 10-0 run.
Thursday’s win over College of Charleston was a milestone moment for the Ladyjacks as it marked the 1st time in school history the Ladyjacks have posted 3 wins in a postseason elimination style tournament. Prior to this season, the last time SFA won 2 contests in the postseason was the 1996 NCAA Tournament.
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 378 wins in his career as a head coach at the NCAA Division I and Division II levels.
Porsha Roberts became the greatest shot blocker in SFA history in Thursday night’s win over College of Charleston. Her 3 blocks broke the tie with Amy Collins and gave her the all-time lead at SFA in career blocks with 178 and has another year of eligibility left. Roberts is averaged 2.03 blocks per game overall during the regular season to rank 2nd in the conference and 46th in the NCAA. Her 72 blocks rank 2nd 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, 3 WNITs, 5 AIAW Tournaments and now 2 appearances in the WBI.
Scouting the Flames * UI-Chicago advanced to the championship game of the WBI after a dominating win over Fairfield at home on Thursday night. The Flames cruised to a 74-44 victory, scoring 48 points in the paint. UIC committed only 5 turnovers and never trailed in the contest.
* UIC has 3 players scoring in double digits this season led by Rachel Story with 18.2 per game. Katie Hannemann scores 14.9 points per game, and Ruvanna Campbell adds 17.1. Campbell, however, is scoring 25.0 during the WBI.
* Campbell has scored at least 23 points in each of the Flames’ contests during the WBI. Against Fairfield to advance to the championship game, Campbell posted 25 points on 12-of-16 shooting. She also had a double-double with 17 rebounds. Campbell has had a double-double in all 3 games, including 27 points and 23 rebounds against Eastern Michigan.
* The Flames are averaging 83.7 points per game during the WBI after posting 93 at Eastern Michigan during the quarterfinals.
* UIC plays a fast pace putting up more than 60 shots per game. Those shots result in second chance opportunities, where the Flames thrive on the offensive glass. A good number of UIC’s baskets are made in the paint as well thanks to the fast pace.
* The Flames are shooting better than 50 percent during the tournament.
Catching Up with SFA * Porsha Roberts has scored 27 and 28 points in SFA’s last two games, respectively. She is averaging 23.0 points during the WBI, scoring 14 in the first round against Texas State. She also is swatting 2.7 blocks following 4 rejections at College of Charleston on Thursday.
* Tierany Henderson has posted back-to-back double-doubles for the Ladyjacks to give SFA another scoring threat and creating transition scoring chances with her rebounding. Henderson had 12 points, 10 rebounds, 5 blocks and 3 steals at College of Charleston on Thursday night. Henderson has 7 double-doubles on the year, and SFA is 6-1 in those games with the lone loss coming at TCU on Dec. 4.
* 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 72 shots beyond the arc this season to rank 2nd all-time in SFA history for a season. Her 150 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.
* The Ladyjacks are allowing only 61.2 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 20-5 this season when scoring 60 or more points.
* SFA has been tremendous at protecting leads all season. The Ladyjacks are an impressive 21-2 when leading with 10 minutes left in a game and an undefeated 20-0 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.
* 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.
* 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 964 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. Tennessee is still alive in the postseason.