Greenville, S.C. – Furman defeated Stephen F. Austin 72-70 Saturday night in non-conference action. The Lumberjacks fall to 6-5 and the Paladins improve to 8-4.
For the second straight match for the Lumberjacks, all 40 minutes was needed to decide the winner of the game. However, this game was a tale of two halves for the ‘Jacks. Nothing seemed to go the ‘Jacks way in the first half as they found themselves down 44-22 going into the break, shooting a dismal 26.47% from the field and only making one of eight baskets from beyond the arc.
Coach Keller must’ve lit a spark in the Lumberjacks during the halftime break, because once the team took the court, it was a whole new ballgame. The ‘Jacks scored a remarkable 18 unanswered points at the start at the second half. During that run, the “PressU” defense forced five turnovers. Following the 18-point run, both teams took back and forth blows all the way to the final seconds. The ‘Jacks rebounded from the first half and recorded a 62.50% field goal percentage and went 7-12 from the three-point line, six of those baskets coming from Latrell Jossell, who was the team’s lead scorer with 21 points.
With 40 seconds remaining on the clock, Nigel Hawkins threw up and made a hail mary three-pointer with the shot clock hitting zero that would’ve put the game away and secured the win. But after the officials reviewed the play, they determined that Hawkins did not release the ball in time and withdrew the three points. The final shot of the match came from Mike Bothwell who made a fade-away jump shot to win the game for the Paladins and capped off a career day with 36 points, going 12-14 from the field and going a perfect 11-11 on free throws.
AJ Cajuste recorded another big game with 18 points, going two for three from beyond the arc, tallying four assists and three steals. Hawkins dropped 13 points on the night, picked up four rebounds, and a steal. Nana Antwi-Boasiako almost recorded a double-double as he got nine points of his own and led the team with nine rebounds.
The Lumberjacks led in the following statistical categories: three-point percentage (40.0-28.6), points off turnovers (20-14), and bench points (23-5).
Stephen F. Austin makes a quick turnaround home for a matchup against the North American Stallions Monday, December 19th with tipoff at 6:30 p.m.