Lumberjacks to Host the Defending WAC Champions this Wednesday

Stephen F. Austin vs New Mexico State

Wednesday, January 4th

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Live Stream: ESPN+

Location: Nacogdoches, Texas

Stadium: William R. Johnson Coliseum

Series: 3rd Meeting (Tied 1-1)

NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Stephen F. Austin men’s basketball program look to start 2023 off strong and continue their winning streak against the 2022 WAC Champs, the New Mexico State Aggies.

Lumberjacks Statistical Analysis

The Lumberjacks enter this game with a 12 game regular season conference winning streak, looking for lucky number 13 against the Aggies. The last time SFA lost a regular season conference game came at Seattle University on January 26, 2022. The last time they lost a conference match at home happened the game right before that, which happened to come against the Aggies.

Knowing when and where to pass the ball is essential for putting points on the board, and that’s what the ‘Jacks do best in the conference. They are ranked number one when it comes to assists per game (16.7), and 26th in the nation. AJ Cajuste leads the team, and the conference, with 70 assists on the season, which is 34 more than the next best in line for the ‘Jacks. 

Although having the third least three point attempts per game in the conference, they still hold the best three point percentage with 39%, making the most of every deep shot. That’s good enough for 16th in the country. Cajuste also has the best percentage beyond the arc, making 45% of his shots.

A Look at the Aggies

The Aggies come into Nacogdoches with a 7-7 record, 0-2 in their conference title defense so far. When playing in enemy territory, the Aggies have a 1-3 record.

Deshawndre Washington is the one the ‘Jacks need to watch for as he dominates the New Mexico State offense, leading in three-point percentage (43.2%), points per game (12.9), total rebounds (111), assists (66), and steals (22). Washington is one of 16 players in the nation to record a triple-double this season, and is the only one in the conference to do so. He also has recorded three double-double’s in this season as well.

Alongside Washington offensively is Xavier Pinson. Pinson is tied with Washington with 12.9 points per game and takes most of his shots from deep beyond the arc. Most notably about Pinson, is that he is also tied with Nigel Hawkins with best free throw percentage in the conference with 86%, 37 buckets on 43 attempts.

SFA vs NM State History

This is the second year that the Lumberjacks and Aggies will face off in WAC conference play. Last year each team took a win in opposing territory.

Last time the Aggies were in town, it was the first ever meeting between the two programs. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the ‘Jacks night and the Aggies took a demanding 72-58 win. Sadaidriene Hall lead the scoring for the ‘Jacks with 14 points and he’s looking for redemption as Aggies come back to the coliseum.

Last Matchup Against the Aggies

The Lumberjacks won in a nail-biter finish against the Aggies, with 73-71 being the final score.

Latrell Jossell led the way for the ‘Jacks putting up 17 points on the board, with Gavin Kensmil scoring 15 of his own and Sadaidriene Hall also reaching double-digits with 14.

Last SFA Match: ‘Jacks Hold On to Defeat the Mavericks and Move to 2-0 in Conference Play

Stephen F. Austin defeated UT-Arlington 66-62 and won their fourth game in a row, second in conference play. The Lumberjacks improve to 10-5 (2-0) and the Mavericks fall to 5-10 (0-2).

It was a slow start for both teams right out of the gate, especially for the Lumberjacks as they struggled to make their first basket within the first three minutes of the game. They found themselves behind by seven points a couple times throughout the middle of the first half, but towards the end of the half the ‘Jacks were finally able to take the lead thanks to an eight point run with buckets from Derrick Tezeno and AJ Cajuste. Both teams ended the first half with a sub 40% field goal percentage.

The first 13 minutes of the second half was full of back and forth blows from both teams as the Lumberjacks failed to grow their lead more than a six point margin, yet were still able to maintain the lead. However, within one minute, the Mavericks went on a seven point run thanks to a couple of free throws and a three pointer by Kyron Gibson and took the lead back for the first time this half. It was then a fight to the end to see who could make the last important shot. With 1:30 remaining on the clock, Latrell Jossell throws up a clutch three pointer to put the ‘Jacks up by two. From there on it was a hectic frenzy for both teams as they were both missing shots and turning over the ball trying to make the winning the shots. Finally, a foul on Jossell with 16 seconds left led to two good free throws which was good enough to secure the win for SFA.

Jossell led the scoring category for the ‘Jacks with 12 points. He also recorded six rebounds, five assists, and a steal on the day. Tezeno had a near double-double with 11 points and eight rebounds. Nigel Hawkins recorded his 11th double-digit scoring outing of the year with ten points, along with four rebounds, three assists, and a steal.

The Lumberjacks were able to outscore the Mavericks in: field goal percentage (42.9-40.4), three point percentage (45.5-11.8), free throw percentage (81.3-73.7), bench points (24-14), and points in the paint (30-28).