Cajuste Seals Lumberjack Win with Last Second Shot

Cedar City, Utah- In a game that came down to the final seconds, the Lumberjacks came away with an 84-82 win over Southern Utah University at the America First Events Center. Stephen F. Austin improved to 11-6 overall and 4-2 in conference play and the Thunderbirds fell to 5-11 and 0-4 in WAC play. 

With 7.2 seconds remaining in the game, and tied 82-82, SFA redshirt-senior guard AJ Cajuste drove to the basket and got a goaltending call to give the Lumberjacks an 84-82 lead with 1.8 seconds remaining. The Thunderbirds inbounded the ball to Bradon Housley and he attempted a three-quarter court shot that hit the front of the rim to end the game. It was the Lumberjacks first win over the Thunderbirds.

SFA entered the game second in the NCAA for turnovers forced per game and it didn’t take long for them to make their mark defensively.  The ‘Jacks forced a turnover on the Thunderbird’s opening possession.

SFA held the lead until the 13:10 mark when Southern Utah’s three-pointer gave the Thunderbirds a 16-15 lead.  The ‘Jacks’ went on 9-0 run to take their biggest lead of the night and led 24-19 after ten minutes of play.Matt Hayman posted an early seven points on his 3-for-4 shooting from the field.  There were four lead changes going into halftime, as SFA held onto the lead for most of the opening half.  The Thunderbirds went two-for-two at the free throw line to tie the game at 43-43 to end the half.

Matt Hayman finished as the leading scorer for SFA after the first twenty minutes.  He shot 5-for-7 from the field and scored 12 points.  Sadaidriene Hall (9) and Frank Staine (8) also contributed notable scoring performances.  

SFA finished the first half 16-for-29 (55.2%) from the field and 5-for-11 (45.5%) from the three-point line.  SFA’s defense had four different defenders finish the first half with a steal.  The ‘Jacks forced the Thunderbirds into nine turnovers and had four steals.

SFA’s offense looked to the paint for the first ten minutes of the second half.  Nine of the Lumberjacks’ first ten made shots in the second half came from down low.  Halfway through the second half SFA led 66-64 over the Thunderbirds.

Matt Hayman tied a career high in made three-pointers in a game (4) with 8:35 left in the second half.  The Trailblazers missed their first free throw of the night with 5:24 remaining in the second half.  Southern Utah started the game 27-for-27 from the charity stripe.   

The Lumberjacks scored 41 points in the second half to hang onto a two-point lead.  SFA was led by Matt Hayman’s 24-point performance on 9-for-12 shooting.  Sadaidriene Hall also pitched in a 16-point performance of his own, on 6-for-7 shooting from the field.  Stephen F. Austin shot 32-for-56 (57.1%) from the field and 7-for-17 (41.2%) from the three-point line.

SFA’s defense forced the Thunderbirds into 18 turnovers and were led by Day Day’s two steals.  The Lumberjack bench posted 21 points and was led by Clayton Southwick’s seven points.

Upcoming for the ‘Jacks:
The Lumberjacks return home for four straight home games beginning with Seattle (1/18), followed by Grand Canyon (1/25), Cal Baptist (1/27), and Utah Valley (2/1). 

Tickets for all home games are available at Follow the Lumberjack on ESPN+ or listen on Q107.7 FM radio with the “Voice of the Lumberjacks” Rob Meyers calling all the 

By: Jace Green, Assistant for Strategic Communications