LAS VEGAS, NV – Utah Tech defeated Stephen F. Austin 80-76 in the opening round of the WAC basketball tournament, closing the book on the 2022-2023 men’s basketball season.
The Lumberjacks struggled to get the offense going early as they only made nine points in the first ten minutes. Down 19-9, the ‘Jacks finally got some momentum going and went on an 11-point run to take the lead at 20-19. The teams traded shots in the final five minutes and the Trailblazers went into half with a 31-28 lead. The Lumberjacks left a lot of points on the floor as they only shot 38% from the field in the half, and only made one three-pointer on seven attempts.
The second half started just as slow as the first half and no score was made by either team in the first 2:30 of the half. The score remained close all throughout the second half as the ‘Jacks didn’t let the Trailblazers get more than a six-point lead. With time winding down to a minute remaining and the ‘Jacks down by three, Latrell Jossell made his first three-pointer of the game to tie the score at 60. After two free-throws by the Trailblazers, Sadaidriene Hall made a lay-up with 20 seconds remaining to send this game into overtime.
Skip AdIt took a minute to get the scoring going again, but once the shots went up, no one from either side missed. With 1:30 remaining, the score was tied at 71-71. That’s when the Trailblazers started to run away with the game, went on a six-point run to force the Lumberjacks to foul and secure Utah Tech the win. The Trailblazers went a perfect 5-for-5 from the field and 2-for-2 from beyond the arc in overtime.
Although having a hard time with his shots from deep early in the game, Jossell led the scoring category for the Lumberjacks with 17 points. Nigel Hawkins finished the year off strong and recorded 13 points, four rebounds, and four assists. Hall and Robbie Armbrester both put up 12 points on the board with Hall being one rebound away from a double-double.
SFA was able to beat the Trailblazers in: turnovers forced (17-10), points off turnovers (16-8), bench points (34-17), points in the paint (36-34), fastbreak points (21-12), and steals (10-4).
With that, the SFA men’s basketball season comes to a close. Stay tuned for all the Lumberjack off-season news and updates on sfajacks.com and follow @sfa_mbb on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.