Stephen F. Austin Upends Islanders in Nacogdoches
NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Stephen F. Austin used a strong defensive effort and an impressive inside attack to post a 74-41 victory over the Texas A&M – Corpus Christi men's basketball team on Saturday night. The Lumberjacks put four players in double figures, as Antonio Bostic, Desmond Haymonn and Taylor Smith led the way with 17 points each.
Jonathan King added 14 points and 10 boards, while Smith's 12 rebounds gave the Lumberjacks (17-11, 10-4 SLC) two players with double-doubles. With the loss and Nicholls' victory over McNeese State earlier in the day, Texas A&M – Corpus Christi (5-23, 3-11) has been eliminated from contention for the Southland Conference Tournament next week.
Chris Hawkins-Mast led the way for the Islanders with a double-double of his own, scoring 15 points to go with 11 rebounds. No other player eclipsed five points for the visitors. The Islanders did have a strong game from the line, going 13-for-18, but shot just 26 percent from the field in the loss. SFA went 33-for-54 in the game, shooting 79.2 percent in the second half. The Lumberjacks scored 44 points in the paint in the victory.
Early on, neither team was able to mount any offense, with Myron Dempsey scoring the first points of the game on a jumper at the 16:13 mark. But SFA settled in on the offensive end, putting up a 16-1 run, led by eight points from Bostic and four each from King and Haymon, to make it 16-3. Hawkins-Mast snapped that with a pair of shots from the line, and that was followed by a Dempsey layin to get the deficit back to single digits at 16-7.
From there, the team teams traded points over the next several minutes, with a Hawkins-Mast three trimming it to eight at 20-12. The Lumberjacks countered with a 7-0 run to push the lead to 15 at the 3:05 mark. From there, the teams went tally-for-tally into the locker room, with a King jumper putting the home squad's lead at 32-16 heading to the break.
Out of the break, Stephen F. Austin continued its strong offensive play, pushing the lead to 41-19 on a Smith dunk. At that juncture, the Islanders began to pick it up on the offensive end, with six points inside from Ted Wang and Johnathan Jordan, but the Jacks maintained their efficiency on the offensive end, regaining a 22-point lead at 47-25.
The Islanders cut it to 49-29 on a pair of shots from Jason Smith at the line, but SFA countered with a 7-0 run to make the lead 57-29. A&M – Corpus Christi staged a brief rally, netting five straight points, highlighted by a Hameed Ali three, to make it 57-34. But SFA regained control, and pulled away in the closing minutes to post the victory.
The Islanders are on the road once again on Wednesday night, as they make their first visit to the recently opened College Park Center on the campus of UT-Arlington. Game time is set for 7 p.m. and Steven King will have the call starting at 6:45 with the Navy/Army Community Credit Union Pregame Show.