Lumberjacks Return to the Coliseum Looking to Rebound Against UTRGV

Stephen F. Austin vs University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Date: Wednesday, January 25th

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Live Stream: ESPN+

Location: Nacogdoches, Texas

Stadium: William R. Johnson Coliseum

Series: 6th Meeting (SFA leads 3-2)

NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Stephen F. Austin men’s basketball returns home for the first time in two and a half weeks to take on UTRGV as they look to get back in the win column.

Lumberjacks Statistical Analysis

Stephen F. Austin remains 4th in the WAC standings even after suffering back-to-back losses.

The Lumberjacks hold their spot in the top three in the country, and number one in the conference, in turnovers forced per game with 19.35. Nine ‘Jacks have double-digit steals on the year, four with 20 or more, with AJ Cajuste leading the way with 29.

It’s become pretty obvious that in order for the Lumberjacks to get the win, they need the support of their lead scorer Sadaidriene Hall. Hall leads the team with 13 points per game and a 59.5% field goal percentage, however in the last two games combined, he has scored a total of nine points. In five out of SFA’s seven losses this year, Hall has scored less than ten points. Only one time this year has Hall scored less than ten points and the Lumberjacks have gone on to win.

Latrell Jossell has reached the century mark on three-point attempts, making 43 buckets on 102 attempts. He leads the conference with a 42.2% from beyond the arc, which places him 30th in the nation.

A Look at the Vaqueros

UTRGV sits second-to-last in the WAC standings with a 1-6 record in conference action and a 10-10 overall record. Like the Lumberjacks, the Vaqueros are coming off a two-game losing streak, meaning someone’s streak will come to an end this Wednesday.

One thing that the Vaqueros do better than everyone else is draw fouls that lead to good free-throws. UTRGV leads the whole country in free-throw attempts per game and free-throws made per game. They average 27 attempts per game with 19 of those attempts putting points on the board. Although they lead the nation in attempts, they still only make 69.8% of their shots, which is sixth-best in the conference and not even top 200 in the country. It’s safe to say these missed free-throws could definitely come back to haunt them if the game stays close til the end.

The Johns(t)on boys will be the ones to watch this week, as they carry the Vaqueros offense. Justin Johnson is the first star-player to look out for as he ranks top 12 in the nation in the following: field goal attempts (10th with 319), free-throw attempts (1st with 177), free-throws made (3rd with 118), points (8th with 428), and points per game (11th with 21.4). All of which leads the WAC conference. By his side is Will Johnston. Johnston’s the deep sharp shooter for the team as he makes 45.8% of his shots beyond the arc (44 for 96) and averages 16.5 points per game. He leads the team with 73 assists and makes the most of his free throws making 90 out of 106 attempts. The Lumberjacks do not want Johnston at the charity line when it gets down to the end.

Last Match Against the Vaqueros: Men’s Basketball Routs UTRGV, Claims First WAC Regular Championship 

The SFA men’s basketball team routed UTRGV, 93-63, earning the Lumberjacks first WAC Regular Season Conference Championship.

The ‘Jacks claim the program’s 30th regular season or tournament championship and their first in its inaugural season in the WAC. 

After losing back-to-back games on January 22 and January 26, dropping their WAC record to an even 4-4, head coach Kyle Keller turned in a coaching performance that will go down in program history as one of the best turnarounds leading the squad to 10 straight conference wins to bring the WAC trophy back to Nac.

Saturday’s game was never in doubt, with the Lumberjacks opening up a 19-6 lead less than seven minutes into the game on a Gavin Kensmil layup.

SFA pushed the lead out to 24-9 with 7:49 to play after a pair of Sadaidriene Hall free throws before heading to the locker rooms up by 18 points, 42-24.

SFA comfortably cruised through the second half, stretching the lead out to 21 points, 72-51, on a Latrell Jossell jumper with 8:14 to play before picking up the 30-point win, 93-63.

Kensil was a force in the paint with 33 points on 13-of-13 shooting from the floor. His 1.000 field goal percentage tied the SFA school record and his 13 makes are the most makes with a perfect shooting percentage in school history.

Calvin Solomon followed with 13 points, while Jossell chipped in 11 points. Hall rounded out the ‘Jack scorers in double figures with 10 points. David Kachelries handed out eight assists.

The ‘Jacks finish tied for first in the WAC and await their fate in the WAC Championship.

Last SFA Match: Ware Ties Career-High of 24 Points against Sam Houston

Sam Houston defeated Stephen F. Austin 76-71 which drops the Lumberjacks to 13-7 (WAC 5-2) and improves the Bearkats to 14-5 (WAC 4-3).

It was another tough night on the road for Stephen F. Austin as they suffered their second straight loss just after going on a seven-game winning streak. The Bearkats got the early edge in the first four minutes jumping ahead to 11-5. However, the Lumberjacks battled back and was able to go on an 11-point run in the span of four minutes, thanks to a strong showing by Roti Ware, grabbing eight of those points. With three minutes remaining, the ‘Jacks were able to hold on to a solid five point lead going into halftime, 41-36.

Things were looking good for the Lumberjacks in the first three minutes coming out of the half as they expanded their lead to 48-40. But that’s when Sam Houston decided to turn on the jets as they went on a monster 23-6 point run in the next ten minutes, giving them the lead at 63-54. During that span, the ‘Jacks had seven missed shots from the field. The Lumberjacks gave all their effort to fight back in the final minutes, but it just wasn’t enough time to get an upper hand on the Bearkats.

The Lumberjacks were able to stay in the fight tonight thanks to a career night from Ware. Ware went 9-for-13 on the field and 4-for-5 on free-throws to give himself 24 points on the night, which ties his career-high that he achieved on two other occasions. He also led the team with five rebounds. Latrell Jossell was the only other Lumberjack able to achieve double-digit points on the night, scoring 11 on the game.

The ‘Jacks led the Bearkats in: free-throw percentage (83.3-59.3), points off turnovers (24-20), bench points (39-26), and fastbreak points (21-8).

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